4 Essential things you need to know about internet cookies.

Posted: October 18, 2012 in technology
Tags: , , , , ,
internet cookie

Internet Cookie |Created by AMit

 Before I list the 4 essential things you need to know about internet cookies, first lets define internet cookies and their uses. An internet cookie is a small text based file a website places on your computer. Once installed, they collect information about the websites you visit and the activities you perform on those sites.  Some cookies allow sites to remember account information such as the username to log into your cable account, items you place in a shopping cart while shopping online and any customization you do on the site. Generally speaking there are two types of internet cookies: Single and multi session.

 Types of internet cookies:

Single –Session cookies which I will refer to as friendly cookies, get deleted immediately after your session ends. They help with page navigation and most likely your web browser accepts them by default.  I deemed these cookies friendly since no personal identifiable information can be collected. 

On the other hand, multi-session or persistent cookies can collect identifiable information and can track and store your online activity.  So why are internet cookies important to websites?

Why do websites use internet cookies important?internet cookie_2

Nowadays, it’s all about BIG DATA.  Big data consistent of the sites you visit, words typed into a search engine, the type of web browser you use, purchases you make, your activity on  social media  and blogs  visit etc.  Cookies store some of this information. It is just one of the many ways companies track your data footprint. Once this information is collected from millions of online users, companies can sell or use this information to tailor online advertisements and find new users trends.

Yes, cookies are convenient for the user who finds it difficult to type his or her username when logging into a frequently used site. And they save preferences like font size and background color but in doing so may violate your privacy rights.  If you would like to see the cookies stored on your machine click the following link:

How do I manage internet cookies for internet explorer, safari and firefox?

Tip: Delete your internet cookies at least once a week!

So, here are the 4 Essential things you need to know about internet cookies:

  1. There are two types of internet cookies, single-session and persistent. Cookies have the ability to store personalized information and help with page navigation. Persistent cookies usually have an expiration date and can be manually deleted. Single-session cookies are automatically deleted when your browser session ends.
  2.  Persistent cookies can track demographic information and web surfing habits of a users. This information can be sold for marketing purposes.
  3. Cookies are not dangerous to your computer, but there is an ongoing debate on whether some cookies violate users’ privacy.
  4. You can enable and disable your computer from using cookies by managing your browser settings.

Did this post provide you clarity or do you think it’s nonsense? Leave a comment below.

Read my book review on Dan Roam, The Back of the Napkin.

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