Flash Cookies

Definition & Meaning:

Flash cookies, officially known as Local Shared Objects (LSOs), are files used by websites running Adobe Flash to store information on your device.

Similar to traditional web cookies, flash cookies save data such as user preferences, game progress, and tracking information, but they are stored in a different location on your computer and are not managed through your web browser settings.

This makes them harder to detect and remove, allowing them to track your online activities more persistently.

For example, if you play an online game that uses Flash, the game might use flash cookies to remember your progress, so you don’t have to start over each time you visit the site.

Similarly, a website might use flash cookies to store more complex data than a regular cookie, such as the volume level you prefer when watching videos on the site.

One key difference between flash cookies and regular web cookies is how they are managed.

While you can easily clear traditional cookies through your browser’s privacy settings, managing flash cookies requires you to visit Adobe’s website or use third-party software.

This has raised privacy concerns because many users are unaware of flash cookies and how to control them, potentially allowing websites to track their browsing behavior without their consent.

Given these privacy concerns, it’s important for users to be aware of flash cookies and understand how they can be managed.

Websites that use Flash and flash cookies should clearly inform visitors about their use and offer guidance on how they can be managed or opted out.

With the decline of Adobe Flash in favor of HTML5 technologies, the use of flash cookies has decreased, but they may still be present on older websites or Flash-based applications.