Saturday, May 5, 2007

Flash Cookies explained

Flash cookies are a new way of tracing your movement and storing a lot more information about you than with normal cookies. One major disadvantage of flash cookies is that you can’t locate them in your browser. They are not shown in the list of cookies that you can see when you take a look at the cookies that are currently saved in your web browser. Normal HTTP cookies can’t save more than 4 Kilobyte of data while Flash cookies can save up to 100 Kilobyte. If you want to try out how they work you could do the following.

Go to Youtube, increase or decrease the volume of the videos and delete all cookies afterwards. You will notice that the volume level is still at the same level when you close your browser and open it again. This is done with so called Local Shared Objects, better known as Flash cookies. The main question is of course how a computer can be checked for Flash cookies and how it would be possible to delete those cookies again.

This is actually a very tricky thing. I was searching for a way to check them on my computer but could not find it. After reading some information on the Adobe Flash Player website I was able to realize that the only possibility to check them was to open a page on the Adobe site which would show them.

flash cookies

The so called Settings Manager can be accessed from the Adobe website but is running locally on your computer. The Website Storage Settings display all Flash cookies that are currently saved on your computer. You can delete flash cookies from individual sites or all at once. It is also possible to increase or decrease the Kilobyte size of all information that are stored on your computer.

Adobe does not have access to the settings that you see in the Settings Manager or to personal information on your computer.

flash cookies explained

No Flash Cookies will be saved if you go into Global Storage Settings and disable the option “Allow third-party Flash content to store data on your computer”.

47 websites did store Flash cookies on my computer and I decided to delete all of them and disable the feature to be on the safe site. Did you know about Flash cookies ? How many did you find on your pc ?


I found them in: C:\Documents and Settings\user\Application Data\Macromedia\Flash Player\\support\flashplayer\sys\ C:\Documents and Settings\user\Application Data\Macromedia\Flash Player\#SharedObjects\43S5PKP9


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