The word “cookies” is thrown around a lot online, but there is a lot of misinformation out there about them. Understanding cookies can help users to make smarter decisions when certain websites ask for permission to load them, which will also help increase their online security.
What Are Browser Cookies?
Cookies are tiny bits of information that websites keep on a user’s computer. They contain text only, and take up virtually no space on computers. They are meant to be a convenience, as they help save information such as user ID, session ID, and other useful types of text.
Cookies are especially helpful when a user goes back to a website they have already visited. Instead of having to enter certain information again, the cookies will automatically provide information that helps speed up the user experience.
At any given time, the average user will have thousands of cookies already stored on their browser. The longer a user owns a computer, the more cookies they have accumulated. After some time, a user has quite a collection of cookies, and that is where both the good and the bad can come into play.
Cookies: The Good and The Bad
Pro: Enhances the user experience
Con: Sometimes invasive
Con: Malicious Uses
Why Do Cookies Exist? How Do They Work?
The Benefits of Cookies
Login informationWebsites utilize cookies so that they can remember a return visitor. It is easier to identify a user with cookies, and it speeds up the login process as well.
PreferencesUsers have certain preferences on frequently visited websites. It would be very annoying to have to change preferences every single time there is a return visit. With cookies, all preferences are saved and remembered for the return visit.
A personal experience
The Cons of Cookies
Invasive tracking and advertisingMany users are becoming more and more frustrated with how companies have used cookies to advertise and track aggressively. It is easy to feel like somebody’s watching at all times with the way advanced cookies work these days. Websites might not always be upfront about the cookies on the website, and those tracking uses are employed for financial gain.
Selling and stealing informationSome very questionable websites out there can actually obtain and sell information that can put users in a very tough situation. There are some websites that are designed specifically to con users into providing information. If a company is aggressively asking for login information and to allow cookies, it might be a sign that they are looking to abuse their privileges. Even seemingly professional websites can have holes in their code that provide a way for hackers to get in and obtain information. Website owners should continually ensure that their website code is up to standards to avoid any easy access.
What is the Best Way to Manage Internet Browser Cookies?
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