My Review of Vanilla Cookie Manager
Someone mentioned above that Vanilla Cookie Manager was their best choice. I have used this extension for a very long time and I know all the ins and outs. I think it's a really awesome extension although it has one big drawback that I will mention later in this review. Due to this drawback, I will let you know who this extension might be good for and who it might not be such a great fit. This is a very simple program that's very easy to learn and very easy to use. That's a huge plus when so many extensions take weeks or months to learn. Here, all you have to do is click the exension icon once in a while. Also, I can assure you that it's not downloading anything malicious to your computer since it's such a simple program.
Purpose of This Extension
This program simply creates a whitelist and blacklist of websites in which you allow all cookies to work for the websites on the whitelist and you block all cookies for the websites on the blacklist. That doesn't mean that only cookies on the whitelist will work. Cookies that are not on any list will work in addition to the cookies that are on the whitelist.
However, at the end of the day when you close your browser, the browser will completely erase all the cookies from websites that are not on your whitelist.
What this does is 3 things the next time you load your browser. First, the websites on the whitelist, you don't have to login nor do you have to set any preferences again. That's such an awesome and convenient feature. If you visit gmail.com a lot, you don't have to log in, you don't have to set any colors or arrangements or anything else that you would prefer. It's all already set up from the last time you visited the site. And, if you change anything, the cookie will not that and the next time you log in, it will remember what you changed.
So, do you see why you would want to keep cookies? If you trust a website fairly enough and put it on your whitelist (you put it on your white list but simply clicking the Vanilla Cookie icon at the top right while you are visiting the website), then, every time you visit the website, you don't have to go through the miserable process of logging in, trying to remember your password, and typing it in. You'll already be logged in right away as you gave permission to stay logged in! (This won't work for websites like banks.) And, as I said before, all your personal preferences will be activated.
Who is this Extension Best For?
This extension is largely targeted for people who don't know too much about computers or what cookies are. That are also for simple people who don't care they are being tracked and don't want to waste a lot of time to constantly relogging into a website they constantly use. This is a great extension for these types of people. Say you visit Canvas.com a lot since that's your go-to design website and you trust it. You should whitelist it so that whenever you go to Canvas.com, you're already logged in and the site is personalized for your likes and dislikes. It will show you designs that you showed preference for the last time you were there and show designs that are more likely suited to your tastes.
Another example is Google.com. Without cookies, Google.com will show results that aren't personalized at all. If you look up "designing meth", it might show you websites describing the natural sources of methane gas. But, with your personalized cookies saved, it will know to show you results on how to create meth from household ingredients in your kitchen to create methamphetamine for recreational use. You see the difference that cookies make? (I'm totally joking about searching up methods to cook meth from a kitchen lab in your home to sell on the streets. Please don't do this!)
For the website that you didn't whitelist, you can choose a few options with this extension. You can have the browser completely delete all cookies not on the whitelist after a few minutes, every time you log in, etc. Or, you can have the browser just keep all cookies (except the ones on the blacklist) and make sure the ones on the whitelist are never erased by accident. I would just delete all cookies that are not on your whitelist every time your restart your browser.
For example, I'll never whitelist a website like tabloid newspapers, websites that ask for a slew of personal information like your location (you just know they are definitely selling your info), and other websites of the same ilk. Yet, I still whitelist sites I know that are going to track me like Google. You know they are going to get your info anyway since we are so highly integrated into their products. So, why not just whitelist them and make your life easier?
Who This Extension is Bad For
I would not advise this extension for people who are more knowledgeable and are willing to be a little more pro-active on what types of cookies you want and don't want to allow when you visit a website. For example, there are cookie managers that will allow you to automatically relog onto a specific website but won't permit other types of cookies on that same website. You have to pick and choose which one you would like to keep and block. You pick and choose the cookies you want on each website you visit. I've used these extensions for a long time as well. I have to admit, it gets a little tedious. It gets faster and faster as time goes by because it remembers your cookie selection for all the websites you visit. So, when you visit the same website, everything will be all set. But, sometimes it's a pain due to the effort and loss of time in order to figure out what to allow and what not to allow for a new website. I wish website developers were just honest!
I'm a little anal and I don't like people tracking me and getting a perfect profile of what type of person I am - what websites I visit, what I like to eat, what I wear, where I live, etc.
So, I always web surf with a VPN with a constantly changing IP address and use Chrome with extensions that tries to block my identification. For example, did you know that websites can do what is called Canvas Fingerprinting. They can figure out who you are by the type of computer you use! How? Well, each computer actually is fairly unique with respect to the combination of CPU it has, the model/make of their graphics card, model and make of other computer components, what extensions you are using, etc. You would think that a lot of people would have the same canvas fingerprint as you but actually, this is not the case. So webpages can figure out who you are with this method and then web owners pool the information to figure out where you've gone and where you've been and what you've done. Basically, know your entire profile. What can you do? There are extensions that will try to thwart this. It will produce canvas "noise" that makes the canvas fingerprint different every time you log into a different website.
So, if you want to go to this length to hide who you are and what you do, you can see that it takes a lot of time and effort. A lot of people think it's worth it. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't. I flip back and forth.
In any case, as a beginner, you should definitely start with this extension first to learn what a cookie is and what it does. Don't start with the complicated ones first. You'll be totally clueless. Then, after a few months, you can start to progress to the more complicated cookie managers, selecting what you want the website owners to know about you.
I give this extension a 5 out of 5 for beginners. A great extension.
I promise to readers that this is an objective review. I have no stake in this program or any other cookie managers. I don't knowingly have any friends or family that have a stake in any cookie managers. With this said, if I'm not an objective write, I can get sued for a lot of money.
I also wanted to plead with other readers to PLEASE write a detailed review on just ONE extension, app, or program. It'll probably take you an hour or so. But, it will help everyone and you also. If everyone just writes 1 very detailed review of a program that they have a lot of experience with, then this website would be a TREASURE TROVE, full of reviews that can really help people determine the best software in each category. So, I beg on my knees to please write 1 detailed review if and only if you know a lot about a specific program. Thank you!