How Internet Cookies Improve Your Browsing
By Nick Anderson 6 minutes
If you are still unaware of internet cookies, then this guide will be helpful for you. You will come to know every key thing about the internet or web browser cookies.
Also, you will understand the functions of internet cookies and some of its most common types. We will also educate you on how to clear your browser cookies on the major browsers, including Google Chrome and Firefox.
Moreover, you will learn about cookies that aren’t good for your system. Before jumping into the details, let’s first explore what internet cookies are and what they do.
What Are Internet Cookies?
The purpose of cookies is to store information like into your web browser. Cookies files contain small pieces of information like your username and password, email address, and visited pages of the website.
Internet cookies can be classified into different categories: first-party cookies, third-party cookies, session, and persistent cookies.
When you visit a website, it stores some information in the form of cookies on your computer. That information (cookies) is saved in a file cookies.txt. As soon as you request another URL, your browser sends back the cookie to the webserver.
What are HTTP Cookies or Browser Cookies?
Browser cookies work as a default browser feature that cannot be disabled. If you deactivate browser cookies, you won’t be able to log in automatically or use a website with your set preferences.
Browser cookies store the information provided by the websites; they help websites to keep a record of your online visits and activities. Moreover, with cookies, retailers identify products in your online shopping cart and eventually improve your shopping experience.
There are various types of cookies to record different user activities, for example, Session cookies only work when the user logs in and navigates the web. As soon as the user logs out, the Session cookie wanes.
Similarly, tracking cookies track users’ multiple visits to the same site, and authentication cookies record the user’s login credentials.
Are Internet Cookies Safe?
Internet cookies are usually safe and never harm your system with viruses and malware. Normal internet cookies cannot be changed because data inside a cookie cannot be replaced while transmitting from webserver to browser. However, there are certain viruses, in the shape of cookies that can disrupt your system.
Certain cookies, for example, supercookies can be a serious privacy threat; luckily, many browsers now enable you to block those cookies.
Similarly, a particular type of cookie called zombie cookies is very harmful. This cookie recreates itself after being deleted; therefore, it’s very hard to manage cookies.
Moreover, third-party cookies are also bad cookies because these cookies give full control to third parties to keep an eye on everything that you do online.
How Can You Clear Internet Cookies?
How to clear cookies in Chrome
Every browser follows a different procedure of removing cookies. Here’s how to clear cookies in Google Chrome:
- Go to the Settings menu at the top right corner of the window
- Click “More tools”
- Click Clear Browsing Data
- Mark checkbox for Cookies
- Click Clear Data
How to clear cookies in Firefox
Follow these quick and simple steps to clear cookies in Firefox browser:
- Click Settings button appearing on the top right corner of the tab.
- Click on Library then click History.
- Click on Clear Recent History.
- Select the date or time frame that you want to remove.
- Mark check on the checkbox for cookies.
- Click at Clear Now.
How to clear cookies in Safari
Here’s how to wipe cookies in Safari web browser. This method will remove cookies from Safari and retain the browsing history.
- On your device, go to Settings > Safari.
- Tap on Advanced, then go to Website Data.
- Tap on Remove All Website Data.
What are Third-Party Cookies?
Third party cookies are called advertising cookies. Such cookies keep track of all your online activities and can be invasive to your privacy.
What are Persistent Cookies?
A persistent cookie, also known as a permanent or stored cookie, is used by websites to remember visitors’ settings and login information better.
Persistent cookies store visitors’ login information so that there will be no need to log in every time. Moreover, persistent cookies also perform other functions like storing user preferences related to language selection, internal site bookmarking, menu theme and etc.
Whenever you visit a site, you select your preferences; persistent cookies remember those settings to let you enjoy a better experience for the future visit.
Should I Delete or Block Cookies?
If you no longer want any website to remember your browsing history, then you should delete cookies. Before deleting your cookies, keep the following points in your mind:
- Any website will not recognize you after you return.
- You will have to log in every time when you visit the same websites.
- You will reset website preferences/settings again.
- All your shopping cart items/history will be removed.
- New cookies will be saved in your browser when you log in to a website again.
Why is Cookies Technology Important?
Not all cookies are bad or malicious; in fact, cookie technology is very important. It helps the website to remember your login credentials, reduces page load time, and offer personalized content.
However, some internet cookies are malicious and compromise your data security. You can use a VPN while choosing the most secure browser to stay safe online. This is how you can keep your data safe from malicious cookies.
Internet cookies are a good way to improve a user’s online experience on a website. Most of the computer cookies are safe since they cannot be modified or altered in any way. But, some malicious cookies can disrupt your data privacy.
To keep your online privacy on top, you can use a VPN, install a secure browser along with anti-tracking software. All these security measures will get you a flawless and secure browsing experience.