How Internet Cookies Improve Your Browsing
By Christine Margret 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 the 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?
Internet cookies can be classified into different categories: first-party cookies, third-party cookies, session, and persistent cookies. The purpose of cookies is to store web server information into your web browser.
To put it plainly, whenever 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 web server.
Cookies files contain small pieces of information like your name, email address, and visited pages of the website.
Are Internet Cookies Bad?
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 web server to browser. However, there are certain viruses, in the shape of cookies which can disrupt your system.
Certain cookies, for example, supercookies can be a serious privacy threat; luckily, many browsers 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.
What are browser cookies?
Browser cookies work as a default browser feature that cannot be disabled. In case, if you’ll deactivate browser cookies, you won’t be able to login or access websites. Browser cookies store information provided by the website.
Browser cookies help websites to keep a record of your online visits and activities. Moreover, with cookies, retailers also identify products in your online shopping cart and eventually improve your shopping experience.
There are various types of cookies to record different user activities like, 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.
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 at “Library” then click “History”
- Click at “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”.
What are bad cookies?
Normally, internet cookies are not bad; they track some user information to offer a better online experience.
However, there are a few malicious cookies that are bad cookies. Such cookies keep an unnecessary track of all your online activities and can compromise your online privacy.
For example, a malicious cookie can track all your browsing habits and collect data of your interest. Later, this collected data is sold to marketing agencies to target more customized ads.
There are equal chances that advertising agencies may throw spam ads or emails in your inbox, or even phishing attacks can take place.
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 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 login 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 exactly according to your needs.
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 an anti-tracking software. All these security measures will get you flawless and secure browsing experience.tcp