Cookies are an essential part of internet surfing. Whenever we try to enter a website, some websites that have been visited by us already have our data stored or have suggestions based n what we were searching for the last time we were on the internet. Pop-up ads can be especially sometimes creepy as to how the advertisements might know what we have been looking for. But how does the website accurately know what we have been looking for and how to advertise them to us in such ways? Every time you enter a website, you might get a small pop-up with two options: Accept Cookies or Reject Cookies. That’s the culprit right there.
Cookies are a vital component of the modern internet surfing experience. While many of us don’t know how they still work, we know that they play a significant role. Several questions are connected to what cookies are and for that, in this article, we would be discussing the various queries that are attached to cookies and how they work, and whether are they harmful to your privacy or not.
What are Cookies?
So, cookies are a text file record of a username and password that helps the website or the server to be able to identify your device. Based on your device, has a small database stored of your recent searches and knows what to showcase or suggest based on your recent searches. This helps the website and servers track your device and your searches. This helps the users have their surfing experience enhanced and for the website users to be able to provide a good experience to them as that would help them increase traffic on their websites.
All the data that is stored in the cookie is generated once you connect your device to any connection or server, data is then stored with a unique identity that connects your device to the server. When the cookie is exchanged between the server that you access and your PC and the server gets access to the text file that is attached to your unique identity and knows exactly what information, product, or advertisements to show you.
Generally, there are two types of Cookies: Magic and HTTPS
Magic: The type of cookie that the modern “HTTPS” cookie is based on. Previously magic cookies are small packets of information of the user accessing the server that are stored and received by the server without any major changes. Generally used for computer logins database management.
HTTPS: As magic cookies used to store data for computer logins, Lou Montulli used that as an inspiration in 1994, and recreated it in the form of a browser cookie to track user usage, and to this date, it has been used to track user data to show what the user might be interested in. This generally tracks user data through each session. These are stored as “name-value” pairs, which inform the cookies about where it needs to be sent and where it is supposed to be recalled.
These are stored in the web browser itself, hence, when the user returns to a website under that server, the web browser sends those cookies, recalling them when needed. When those data are recalled, the website automatically suggests and understands what needs to be suggested and recalled.
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Are cookies invasive of your privacy?
Cookies aren’t generally harmful or invasive as the data once registered are not changed often, while the data itself or cookies cannot exactly spread any sort of malware or virus to your computer, if your cookies data gets in the wrong hands it can prove to be very dangerous. Your session details, and browsing histories Cyber attackers can access your private information and can also abuse your cookie data. It can go as far as your IP address is public.
While cookies provide a great surfing experience, one has to be careful about sketchy websites that can pretty much sell your private information to anyone and make it prone to misuse. Trusted websites and general websites that are on top of the search engine are trusted (although it has no relativity to being secure but rather signifies the most relevant and popular search).
Anything on the internet can be really risky and needs to be always taken care of when accessing, while it enhances the surfing experience by great extents, it can be very harmful, but that can be pretty much applied to internet access as a whole. Make sure to take the necessary precautions while surfing and you should be good to go.