May 132011
 

Adobe Flash Player 10.3 lets you clean Flash cookies along with all normal cookies. Just over a week ago we detailed the privacy risk of Flash cookies – an issue that most people have been blissfully unaware of for years.

As we predicted, Adobe have today released Flash Player 10.3 which resolves the issue by incorporating the cleaning of Flash cookies along with all normal cookies whenever you choose to delete cookies from your internet browser.

The new version also adds a new Flash Player Settings Manager into the Windows Control Panel which you can use to control how websites are allowed to use Flash or store data on your computer.

After testing the new version on IE and Firefox we can confirm that deleting cookies does not just delete the individual .sol flash cookie files but also deletes all the website folder names that were previously stored on your main hard drive in the following folder – Users (or ‘Documents and Settings’ in XP) / ‘username’ / application data / Macromedia / Flash Player / Macromedia.com / support / flashplayer / sys which clearly identified the flash websites you had visited.

You can download the new version of Flash Player 10.3 from Filehippo for Internet Explorer here or for Firefox/others here. After downloading it, close your web browser(s) and double click the downloaded file to install the new version. If you use both IE and Firefox you need to download and install both versions of Flash Player.

To set your web browser to delete all cookies and browsing history whenever you close the browser, follow these steps for Internet Explorer or Firefox:

Internet Explorer (IE) – Open IE and click ‘Tools’ from the menu bar, then click ‘Internet Options’ to open the ‘Internet Options’ window at the ‘General’ tab.

  • In the ‘Browsing History’ section, click the ‘Delete’ button to open the ‘Delete Browsing History’ window.
  • Click to tick the ‘Cookies’ box (for better privacy click to tick the ‘Temporary Internet Files’ and ‘Browsing History’ boxes too) and tick the ‘Preserve Favorites’ website data only if you want to keep cookies for your favorite websites.
  • Click the ‘Delete’ button to delete the cookies etc. as a one off deletion now – this will remember your selections for the future and return you to the ‘Internet Options’ window.
  • In the ‘Internet Options’ window click to tick the ‘Delete Browsing History on Exit’ box if you want your selections to be deleted automatically every time you close IE.

Click OK to return to IE. In future your cookies etc will be deleted when you close IE.

Firefox – Open Firefox and click ‘Tools’ then click ‘Options’ to open the ‘Options’ window.

  • Click the ‘Privacy’ button at the top of the ‘Options’ window.
  • Click the ‘Settings’ button to open the ‘Settings For Clearing History’ window.
  • For better privacy click to tick all the options in the top ‘History’ section – including ‘Cookies’ and ‘Browsing History’.
  • Click the ‘OK’ button to return to the ‘Options’ window.
  • In the ‘Options’ window click to tick the ‘Clear History When Firefox Closes’ box if you want your selections to be deleted automatically every time you close Firefox.

Click OK to return to Firefox. In future your cookies etc will be deleted when you close Firefox.

Flash Player in Control Panel – To control Flash Player settings you used to have to use the Settings Manager at Adobe’s website here but thankfully the new version 10.3 also installs a new Flash Player Settings Manager directly into the Windows Control Panel.

Click Start, click Control Panel and then double click the Flash Player entry to open the new Flash Player Settings Manager. From here you can choose options to configure:

  • Storage tab – block sites from storing information on your computer (recommended)
  • Camera and Mic tab – ask you when a site wants to use your camera and microphone (recommended)
  • Playback tab – ask when a site wants to use peer-assisted networking (recommended)
  • Advanced tab – check for updates automatically (recommended) and a quick delete of all Flash saved data/settings.