Tips & Advice

Video: Accept all cookies? A recipe for online privacy this holiday season

Emma McGowan 3 Dec 2021

Make delicious sense of online cookies with Avast and get two signature holiday cookie recipes from chef Carla Hall

If you are going online this holiday season (and let’s be real — we all are), then you’ve seen the notice urging you to “accept all cookies.” Have you ever wondered what that means? You’re not the only one! Since we all apparently have cookies on the brain this time of year, we were inspired by holiday baking to take another look at the other kind of cookies: online cookies. 

(Spoiler alert: They’re not as sweet as the ones your grandma used to make.) 

When you go to a new website, they give (or drop) “cookies” on your web browser. Cookies are “crumbs” (hence the name, “cookies”) of code that live on your computer and do useful things like remember your preferences, help pages load faster, and keep items in your shopping cart. But cookies can also be harmful. Aggressive advertisers can use them to track your every move online and sell your information. They’re not the only way advertisers track you, but they are the most common. 

To get the skinny on all things cookies, we joined forces with renowned chef and baker Carla Hall — who you know from her appearances on Top Chef, Good Morning America, Crazy Delicious, and her podcast, Say Yes! With Carla Hall, among others — to understand more of the science and art of cookies. (And, yes, we’re talking both the sugary one and about protecting yourself from privacy threats this holiday season.) 

After all, not all cookies are bad for you. So let’s take a look at which ones are naughty — and which ones are nice.

So now you know which cookies to accept — and which ones need to stay on the table. For a little refresher, here’s the Avast “recipe” for online privacy to help protect you and yours this holiday season.

Avast's recipe for online privacy 

  1. Assemble your tools

When you bake, the first step is to set out your tools. When you stay safe online, you use our handy browser extension, Avast Online Security & Privacy, to tell websites what you are willing to share, stopping the all-you-can-eat buffet of your data. You can opt out of advertisements, prevent websites from tracking your data, keep companies from oversharing about you on social media, and block phishing sites. It will even guide you through a refresh of your privacy settings on social media.

DOWNLOAD FREE AVAST ONLINE SECURITY & PRIVACY

  1. Add the special ingredient

Carla’s Linzer tortes wouldn’t be so delicious without the cranberry. And with the award-winning (and free) Avast One, the signature ingredient is privacy. Avast gives you end-to-end privacy for all your communications and monitors the internet for risks to your personal information. You can’t make a private internet without it.

  1. And don’t forget the icing

Shortbread is better with frosting, and for that we need confectioners sugar. And the icing on top of your privacy recipe this holiday season is virus protection. Just read the label: Avast One also contains one of the industry’s leading virus protections for PC, Mac, iOS, and Android devices.

Carla also was kind enough to share two Carla Hall signature bakes with us. You don't have to be a trained chef to make these cookies. And, with Avast, you don't have to be a tech expert to be safe online.

Carla Hall's signature holiday bakes 

Painted Shortbread Cookies
Cranberry Ginger Linzer Torte Cookies

Avast might not be as old as your grandmother’s secret recipe, but we have been protecting people on the internet since it was invented over 30 years ago. We believe that people should be free to explore their potential online, without feeling exploited. That’s why we’ve made our flagship security and privacy products available to people for free for over 20 years. We have more than 430 million customers around the world and are PC Magazine and PC World’s Editors Choice for best security and privacy products. 

So remember: Accept only the best cookies this holiday season. Avast has your back.