What are Internet cookies?

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Title: What are Internet cookies?
Category: Educational articles
Published: Tuesday, 25 February, 2020

Labs IT Serviss

What are Internet cookies?

If you use the word "cookies", most people will be ready to have their snack and / or tea with cookies. However, when it comes to computers, "cookies" are not the same as what confectionery offers. In fact, they are not even physical objects. And yet, these tiny files with such a cozy name do a great deal of work for you to be able browse the Internet every day. And sometimes they can also cause trouble if you don't know or are unsure how to manage them.

Getting to know the cookie

A computer cookie is formally known as an HTTP cookie, a web cookie, an Internet cookie, or a browser cookie. This name is an abbreviated version of the "magic cookie", which is the term for a data package, that the computer receives from any web page and then returns without adding or changing it. But doesn’t matter how we name it; a cookie consists of information. Your computer saves it in a web browser as a file (often called as a Cookie to make it easier, when you search for this document).

What exactly these cookies do?

The purpose of a cookie is to help the site keep track of your visits and activities. This is not always bad and you don’t need to be afraid of it. For example, many online merchants use cookies to keep selected items in a user's shopping cart, while they are still researching other products. Without the help of cookies, your Shopping Cart would be in reset position and empty every time you open another page on your site and click on something new. In such a situation, shopping would be impossible!

The site may use cookies to record your last visit or to remember your login information. For many people, this is very useful, because they can save their passwords to the web site, they use frequently, or simply maybe to keep in track what they have visited or downloaded in the past.

Different types of cookies are created for different actions:

For example, "Session cookies" are used only when actively surfing a particular website. In a moment, when you finish with this particular web page – the session is terminated and the cookie disappears.

Tracking cookies - These can be used to create long-term records of multiple visits to a single site.

Authentication cookies evaluates whether a user of a particular site has logged in (pre-registered) and, if so, compares the data in the site's registry and then let you log in or invite you to register.

How to Manage Your Cookies

Under normal circumstances, cookies cannot transmit viruses or malware to your computer. Because cookies data does not change as its moved back and forth, it has no effect on your computer's performance.

However, some viruses and malware can masquerade as a cookie. For example, Supercookies can pose potential security problems, and many browsers offer a way to block them. Zombie cookies works in a way, that, when they are deleted, they are able to restore themselves, making "zombie cookies" difficult to manage. Third-party (third-party) tracking cookies can also pose security concerns, because in theory, the sides, which you don’t know, might have an easier access to your activities without your knowledge. For example, third parties have access to data such as where you go in your browser and what you do online - what goods and products are you more interested in, etc.

Now is the time to tell you how to manage those cookies to protect your online activity from stranger eyes.

Open your browser. Since cookies are stored in your web browser, the first step is to open the browser. The most popular browsers include Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Microsoft Edge, and some are still boasting Internet Explorer, although Chrome and Firefox are preferred for good surfing.

Find your cookie storage. Cookies are stored in slightly different places in each browser.

For example, in Internet Edge you can find them by clicking "..." – three dots, then "Privacy and security" and then "Choose what to clear".

In the Chrome toolbar, select three vertical dots on the right, then click on "Privacy and security" or "History" and choose what to clear.

Most browser cookies have their cookie settings stored in their privacy settings and history. Each browser offers different options for how to handle them.

For example, Chrome allows you to delete existing cookies with a single click and choose how cookies will be collected or stored in the future.

Don't forget to find a balance in all of this. Blocking all cookies can make it difficult or even impossible to use some websites. However, settings that control or restrict third-party tracking cookies, can help to protect your privacy while allowing you to shop online and do many other similar things.

If you have any questions about this or any of our - Good IT Services offers, feel free to call and write.

Our great specialists are always ready to help you!

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