Scrolling through Twitter, I came across an interesting discussion on cookies. Interestingly enough, many people do not know anything about Cookies and they are just accept them without question. So I decided to come on here and shed a little light on the matter.
What Are Cookies?
Aside from being a tasty snack, in the computer world, cookies are small text files that a website you’re visiting sends to the computer or device you’re using. They are there so that companies can tailor their websites to you, because they know some information about you already. For instance, a cookie might contain:
- The amount of time you spend on a website
- Links you click while using the website
- The options, preferences or settings you choose
- Accounts you log into
- Recording which pages you’ve visited in the past
- Items in a shopping basket
What Happens When You Accept All Cookies?
Benefits of accepting Cookies
Accepting cookies will give you the best user experience on the website. It will keep important information you may need from the page later. For example, online shopping.
Cookies enable the site to keep track of all of the items that you’ve placed in your cart while you continue to browse. Should you leave the page, you will lose your cart items. Some websites will also track links you click and then later on show you only relevant things you want to see.
Since the data in cookies doesn’t change, cookies themselves aren’t harmful. They can’t infect computers with viruses or other malware.
Demerits of Accepting Cookies
Some cyberattacks can hijack cookies and enable access to your browsing sessions. The danger lies in their ability to track individuals’ browsing histories. Fortunately, websites that use these cookies have to get your permission. This means you don’t have to accept them. If a cookie can identify you, you can decline the cookie completely.
Unfortunately, some companies simply won’t let you use their website if you don’t accept a cookie because they won’t work as intended without cookies. You can chose to accept cookies and delete them but this will most likely log you out of most websites so it could be a win-lose situation.