What are local shared objects & third-party local shared objects?

A local shared object, sometimes referred to as a "Flash cookie," is a small data file that can be created on your computer by the websites that you visit. Shared objects are most often used to enhance your web-browsing experience, for example, by allowing you to personalize the look and feel of a website that you frequently visit. Shared objects, by themselves, can't do anything to or with the data on your computer. More important, shared objects can never access or remember your e-mail address or other personal information?unless you willingly provide such information.

A third-party local shared object, sometimes referred to as a "third-party Flash cookie," is a shared object created by third-party content, or content that is not actually located on the site you are currently viewing. Third-party local shared objects may be important for privacy discussions because they can be used to track your preferences or your website usage across different websites that you visit.

Disabling local shared objects from third-party content

The Settings Manager lets you manage many settings related to your Flash Player, including the option to allow or disallow third-party shared objects on your computer. Follow the steps below to disallow local shared objects from third-party content.

  1. Go to the Global Storage Settings panel of the Settings Manager (Figure 1.) Click the tabs at the top of the Settings Manager to select the second panel if you do not see the Global Storage Settings.



    Figure 1. The Global Storage Settings panel is the second panel in the Settings Manager
  2. Deselect the checkbox labeled Allow Third-Party Flash Content to Store Information On Your Computer. (Figure 1)
  3. Close the Settings Manager. Flash Player remembers the new setting, and you can continue viewing websites. With the third-party storage setting disabled, Flash Player checks if the content you are viewing is from a third-party and prevents it from creating local shared objects.

Why is the checkbox unavailable on my browser?

  • You may not be using the latest Flash Player version. The third-party storage setting was introduced in Flash Player 8 and is not available in earlier versions of the Player. Click here to get Flash Player 8 now to take advantage of the latest security and privacy features.
  • You may be using an older web browser. Flash Player depends on the web browser to tell it where the content is coming from. Flash Player uses this information to determine if the content is coming from a third party. Because this information is not available, Flash Player cannot disable third-party shared objects. We recommend you use the latest version of your browser that is available.

Demonstration

Watch the demonstration below for the steps to disallow local shared objects from third-party content.

 

Additional Information

For additional information regarding security please visit the Flash Player Privacy and Security Center.

For more detailed information on what a local shared object is see What Is a Local Shared Object?. To learn how to disable Flash Player's Local Shared Objects see How to manage and disable local shared objects (TechNote 52697ee8).

Macromedia takes consumers' privacy seriously and is committed to protecting the security of individuals' personal information on the web. We are dedicated to helping you maintain a secure browsing experience by providing and continuously improving Flash Player privacy controls.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License  Twitter™ and Facebook posts are not covered under the terms of Creative Commons.

Legal Notices   |   Online Privacy Policy