TACO or cookies; which are better for your system? If it's your computer system, then TACO is the clear answer. It stands for Targeted Advertising Cookie Opt-Out. This program identifies and monitors the tracking cookies that advertisers and marketers try to insert in your computer, from which they report your browsing habits and other activity. With TACO, you can see, track, and delete these cookies, both globally and on a site-by-site basis. Abine's free add-on adds TACO to Firefox.
Abine TACO installs like any Firefox extension and places an icon with a drop-down menu in the add-ons area at the end of Firefox's address bar. Clicking this icon shows you how a particular Web site is tracking your online habits, identifies any social networks or third-party activity, including ad companies, and blocks traffic. Clicking Open produced an antivirus-style interface that gave us a more detailed overview of our Privacy Info as well as access to the program's Preferences and the Opt-out & Block feature. The toolbar icon's menu also accesses the main interface and lets users quickly allow or block cookies for sites. The program offers some interesting extras, such as safe surfing, e-mail, and phoning; secure online transaction protection; log-in helpers, and the capability to generate temporary, disposable contact information. Some of these modules require an upgrade from the free version, apparently. We focused on TACO's capability to track and delete ad cookies, and for that job it seems uniquely qualified. TACO produces privacy alerts when it detects suspicious activity. We merely had to click the toolbar icon to track, block, or allow cookies and access TACO's other features. While TACO is unquestionably more complex than the average Firefox add-on, it also offers far more in the way of help, guides, and support, including screencasts, a privacy blog, and a Tour & Setup tutorial.
By now it should be obvious that putting Firefox on a TACO diet helps maintain and protect your privacy and security by blocking the junk before it gets in. Despite doing a lot, Abine TACO is unobtrusive and surprisingly easy to use.