How to identify what Cookies your Blog is using

>>  Saturday, June 02, 2012

You asked how to identify what cookies your site is using in order to even make a start on getting to grips with the new cookie privacy law.

This isn't my area of expertise but I've had a good poke around.  If you have a fair idea of what your blog is doing in terms of widgets/gadgets then you probably stand a good chance of guessing what is putting down cookies but there are a couple of things I have found that made it very clear to me:

I really found this useful  Put in your email and website address and with 5 minutes I got a mail back nicely detailing all the cookies used by my site.  I've yet to see the marketing spam fallout from doing it but actually I think the mail itself will be worth it.  This should give the Average Joe Blog(ger) what you need.

But I thought, no, come on Kelloggsville you owe these people....

If you haven't already, install Mozilla FireFox.  Then from your mozilla browser go to addon Lightbeam. This will show you a big yellow 'Add to Firefox' button.  Go for it.

Now open up your site from the Firefox browser. 

Do View, toolbars and check add-on bar

Down on the bottom right you get a circle (stick with it it took me a life time of fiddling to get there)

This will show you a picture of the cookies for your site.

Click on each one for more detail.

Now you just have to look at each one and see what it is.  I found this useful (but not comprehensive) list to then help me identify what each of them were but it was simply enough to put them into a search engine to work out what they were. The nice thing about this is there is a clear path to the source of the cookie, you will be able to tell which widget is placing it. 

I found this much easier to understand than using

other  methods like IE's Tools, F12 developer tools, cache, view cookie information. The information in which meant nothing to me.  If anyone can enlighten me on this I would love to learn.
I found it all a little bit of an eye opener as it goes to show that many of the free tools we use for widgets are not the totally free lunch they appear to be, but I'll still accept a few cookies for the sake of the service they offer.

Has this helped?  I hope so, I'm probably due a 'the darn things kids say' post to lighten my load a little....

As before,  talk to me......I really need feed back on all this, particularly from those that have already done their audits.  Am I in the right direction?  Are you doing it this way?


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