How to Stop Web Beacon Tracking and Switch to Another Browser

By Joe Friedman

Web beacons, also known as web bugs or clear GIFs, are a type of tracking cookie. They tell the web server some basic details about your visit to their site: IP address, your browser, time and date you access their site and if any other cookies are already tracking you. Companies can use this information to send you personally tailored promotional information, or they may use it for statistics only. Stopping web beacon tracking is as simple as removing existing cookies and turning off the acceptance of new cookies in your browser.

Removing and Disabling Cookes in Firefox

Click "Tools" from the menu bar, then "Options."

Click the "Privacy" tab.

Click the blue text "Remove individual cookies."

Click "Remove All Cookies," then "Close." All existing cookies in Firefox are now gone.

Click "Use custom settings for history" from the drop-down box after "Firefox will."

Uncheck "Accept cookies from sites" and click OK.

Removing and Disabling Cookies in Internet Explorer

Click "Tools" from the menu bar, then "Internet Options."

Click "Delete" under the "Browsing History" section.

Ensure the checkbox for "Cookies" is checked, then click "Delete" at the bottom of the form. All existing cookies in Internet Explorer are now gone.

Click the "Privacy" tab.

Raise the Settings bar to its highest level. You should see "Block All Cookies" on the right side. Click OK.

Switching Browsers

Recognize that cookies are browser specific. A cookie set in Firefox has no effect while you surf in Internet Explorer. If you want to leave one browser working with cookies and have the other free of web beacon tracking, follow the previous steps for only the latter browser.

Open the new desired web browser in Windows by clicking the Start menu and then "Programs" or "All Programs," depending on your version of Windows.

Scroll to and click the folder for Firefox, Internet Explorer or whichever browser you prefer.

Click the option to launch your web browser.