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What are cookies?

What is a Cookie?

Let us get familiar with what are HTTP cookies. A cookie is additionally referred to as an internet cookie or a browser cookie. The name may be a term for a packet of info that a computer receives while visiting a website, then sends back without changing or altering it to the cookie creator website. Once you visit an online website, that online website sends the cookie to your web browser. Your computer saves that cookie in a file inside your computer’s hard disk.

What a Cookie Contains?

Every cookie is actually a small lookup table containing pairs of (key, data) values – for example (name, Madhav) (age, 99), etc.

Purpose of Cookies

The purpose of the cookie is to assist the web site keeping track of your visits and activity – for instance, many online shopping websites use cookies to keep track of the things during a user’s cart as they explore their online store. Without these, your cart would reset to zero whenever you click another link on that online store, which might make it impossible to shop for anything online!

A website may additionally use cookies to keep a record of your most up-to-date visit or to record your login information or your preferences like themes and color etc. Many of us find this handy as they will store passwords on commonly used sites.

Various types of cookies keep track of various activities. Session cookies are used only when you are actively surfing the website; it will disappear once you leave the website. Websites can use tracking cookies to make future records of multiple visits to the same website. Whereas authentication cookies track the status of a user’s login status and identity.

Who can access Cookies?

When a cookie is created it’s possible to regulate its visibility by setting its “root domain”. One can then access these to any URL associated with that root. For instance, one can set the root to “meditech.net”. And therefore the cookie would then be available to sites in “www.mditech.net” or “abc.mditech.net” or “mditech.net”.

You might see behavior where adverts seem to know where you’ve been it’s likely due to 3rd party ad tracking cookies – for instance, if you attend site A which uses an ad network, that ad network can record that you were there on that site by placing a tracking cookie on your PC. Then once you go to Site B which uses the same ad network, the ad network reads the cookie that was set once you were on Site A (which it can do because it’s loading content from its domain in both cases, so it doesn’t break same-origin policy) and may then provide you with adverts supported your browsing habits.

How to manage your Cookies?

Under normal conditions, cookies cannot do any malicious activity like transferring viruses or malware to your computer. Because the info during a cookie doesn’t change when it travels back and forth, it’s no thanks to affect how your computer runs.

Some viruses and malware could also cover up or pretend to be a cookie – for instance, super cookies are often a possible security concern, and lots of browsers offer how to dam them. There are zombie cookies. They recreate themselves after you delete them. It makes it very difficult to manage them. Third-party tracking cookies also can cause security concerns since they create it easier for parties you can’t identify to observe where you’re going and what you’re doing online.

Here’s how to manage these in order to protect your online activity from prying eyes:

Open your browser and find the cookie storage. Different browsers store cookies at a slightly different location. In Chrome, choose the Chrome menu, then click on “Privacy”. Most of the browsers store cookie settings under the privacy options. Choose your desired setting for cookies. Every browser gives you a variety of options for handling these. Chrome allows you to delete the prevailing cookies during a single click. It also allows you to choose the way of collection and storage in the future.

Banning all cookies makes a couple of internet sites hard or impossible to navigate. However, the setting that controls third-party and tracking cookies can help to protect your privacy. Meanwhile, it’s still making it possible to buy online and perform similar activities.