Flash cookies are tiny pieces of software that Web sites place in your PC to store log-on data, passwords, and other personal information to save you the trouble of re-entering it all every time you visit the site. Many Flash cookies also store information about your Web browsing habits and other private data you may not want to share. Flash Cookie Cleaner is a small piece of portable freeware from ConsumerSoft. It identifies Flash cookies in your system and gives them the opportunity to delete them, if you want to. Of course, some cookies are good for your system, and some aren't. Flash Cookie Cleaner offers advice to help users decide which cookies to keep and which can be pitched.
A simple but colorful interface opened when we clicked the program's executable file. This tool has three main controls--Scan Cookies, View Cookies, and Delete Cookies--but it scanned our system automatically when we opened it, identifying our cookies in the Flash Cookies tab by the address of the Web site that placed them and displaying selected cookies' details in a right-hand panel. We could highlight cookies for deleting or click the Ignore Cookie button, which moved them to the Ignored Cookies tab. A message on the interface notes that users may want to ignore cookies from banks, games, and other trusted sources, since they're for your convenience. We selected a Flash cookie we didn't need clicked Delete Cookies. The program removed the cookie, just like that.
We clicked Get Help and Learn More on the menu bar and received information about Flash cookies as well as links to program documentation and advice. However, there isn't very much to this simple tool. Its chief advantage is helping you keep an eye on any Flash cookies installed in your system and removing the ones you want to remove. The worst thing that can happen when you delete the wrong cookie is you'll lose your saved scores or log-on data and have to re-enter them when you return to that site.