Getting in the habit of clearing out your browser's cookies and cache is paramount for keeping on top of your personal cybersecurity. The smaller a footprint you leave online, the less chance of a criminal picking up on your scent when scouting out for potential victims. Fortunately, clearing out your cookies while using a mobile device is a lot easier than you may think. This guide will go through how to clear your cookies and cache on the most popular browsers on Android.
Why should I clear my cache and cookies?
We need to understand what a cookie is and how it works first. A cookie is a tiny text file that a website will store on your browser. The cookie will make the website memorize your behavior on said site. It’s not an advanced AI – it’s just a bit of information that will include where you’re accessing the site from, your preferences while on the site, and your username. The purpose of the cookie is to speed up your experience while browsing. Cookies are convenient for those who like their online session streamlined and with as little speed-bumps as possible.
A browsers’ cache has a similar function. Temporary images or files will be saved in your cache. Instead of a website having to load up an image you frequently refer to, it will be loaded directly from your cache. This reduces the load or buffering times for certain files.
Unfortunately, it’s fairly easy for a hacker with a certain amount of know-how to get access to a website’s cookies and cache information. The repeated attacks against Yahoo’s user data in 2013, 2015, and 2016 were only possible through forging cookies or just outright stealing the cookie information.
Clearing cookies on Chrome
Open up your Chrome app.
In the top right corner of the screen, there should be a line of 3 dots. Press it.
What you’re looking for is the Settings option, it should be second from last on the list. Press it.
Swipe down to Advanced and press Privacy.
Now press Clear browsing data. If you would rather not have to do this again, you can choose to turn off cookies. Just uncheck the box labeled Preload pages for faster browsing and searching.
Make sure all three boxes are checked on the next page to have a full clearout of your cookies and caches. Once you’ve checked all the boxes, press the Clear data button.
Clearing cookies on Firefox
Open up your Firefox app.
In the top right corner of the page, there should be a line of 3 dots. Press it.
From those options, pick Settings, which is the second last on the list.
From this new list, once again, press the second last option labeled Clear private data.
You’ll now be presented with a list of checkboxes. You can manually choose what private details you want to be purged from Firefox. Make sure Cookies & active logins and Cache are selected.
Press Clear data.
Clearing cookies on Microsoft Edge
Open up your Microsoft Edge app.
Near the top right of the window should be a line of 3 dots. Press it.
The third last option is what we’re looking for. Press Settings.
Swipe all the way down to the Advanced header. Directly underneath it should be Privacy. Press it.
You now need to press the last option on the list provided, called Clear browsing data.
From here, you need to make sure the Cookies and site data and Cached images and files checkboxes are selected.
Press the Clear button at the bottom of the page.
Clearing cookies on Opera
Open up your Opera app.
If you’re on a tablet, the menu icon should be along the top left. If on mobile, the menu button will be near the bottom. Once you’ve found it, press it.
Press Settings right at the bottom of the list.
Swipe down to the Advanced header. Press on Clear browsing data…
Make sure the box next to Cookies and site data is ticked. Now press Clear data along the bottom right.
Hopefully, this process will become habitual for you. You won’t need to clear out your cookies and cache after every session. Most only get round to it once or twice a month.
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