Cookies are mysterious files that few people know about

Cookies are mysterious files that few people know about
Picture: oko.uk
Ratmir Belov
Journalist-writer

Cookies are small text files that contain information about visited websites.

First, the data is sent from the server to the user’s computer or mobile device. The next time you visit the sites and open the pages in the browser, these files are loaded automatically. Cookies contain individual settings, information about visited sites. This overview covers the main types of cookies, tasks, functionality and security recommendations.

The use of cookies provides a convenient browsing experience on the websites. When visiting an Internet resource, the user sees a message stating that the site uses data transmitted in cookies. The website visitor can accept such use or disable cookies in the appropriate settings of his browser. For resources popular with the user, the system remembers personal information, so you do not need to constantly fill out authorization forms.

Surfshark is a VPN worth considering
Surfshark is a VPN worth considering

When using the HTTPS protocol and SSL security certificates on the site, personal data is protected. This is especially important for sites with access to financial information (bank sites, online stores). When cookies are enabled in the browser, the load on the server is significantly reduced. As a result, information on site pages loads faster. Most modern browsers provide good protection for user data.

Main Tasks

Cookies perform the following tasks:

  • Authorization. Cookies provide additional convenience to users. If the site uses personal registration data, then this information does not need to be filled in for each session. All the necessary information is transmitted to the server, and the visitor automatically logs in to the site.
  • Settings. The files store various technical information: device type, geolocation, language settings, visit duration, page visits, and other parameters.
  • Advertising. Information from cookies is very important for marketers and advertisers. Based on this information, advertisements are compiled and targeting options are configured. Each user has their own interests and preferences, respectively, and advertising will be individual.
  • Shopping. Cookies allow you to take into account the actions of visitors to the online store. Viewed products, purchases, visited sections of the catalog – all this information is very important, it ensures convenient use of the site. For example, a visitor can put items in the shopping cart and make purchases later.
  • Social networks. These sites also use cookies to personalize content, applications and services. These files contain authorization data, the user’s region, language settings, and many other settings.

Types of cookies

Picture: gizmodo.uol.com.br

All cookies are divided into two types:

  1. Session. These files are created only during the period when the user views the pages of the site. After closing the browser tabs, such cookies are immediately deleted.
  2. Permanent. Such files are stored for a certain period and are sent by the browser to the server each time you visit the site. The duration of the functioning of these cookies is set by the administrator of the Internet resource. You can also delete these files in your browser settings.

Operation

The exchange of data between the user’s browser and the server hosting the site is carried out using the HTTPS protocol. The user enters the website address in the browser and a request is sent to the server. If the device has a cookie from this site, then the corresponding information is sent. The server receives and processes these cookies.

Domain Driven Design – DDD Programming
Domain Driven Design – DDD Programming

The use of this technology speeds up the loading of the site on subsequent user visits. The browser automatically downloads the required data and applies the appropriate settings. However, a significant number of cookies can accumulate on a computer or mobile device, which slows down the system. Therefore, deleting unnecessary cookies helps to improve device performance.

Security options

Cookies may contain confidential user information (logins, passwords). Therefore, on sites that require authorization in a personal account or use payment data, information is transferred using the secure HTTPS protocol. This method provides an encrypted connection and protection of user data. There are several useful recommendations that will be useful to many users.

After you finish browsing the sites, you should delete some cookies. This can be done in the browser settings by selecting the private section, where information about cookies and visited sites is located. When using shared computers, this must be done so that other users do not have access to the browsing history, cannot log in to an online bank or online store account.

Cloud gaming – cutting edge technology on the gaming front
Cloud gaming – cutting edge technology on the gaming front

With the correct browser settings and the use of special programs for data cleaning, the possibility of unauthorized access to cookies is significantly reduced. It is also recommended to use anti-virus programs and additional anti-spyware software on your computer and mobile devices.

Optimization

Cookies have many useful functions, but sometimes you need to delete such data or disable the ability for sites to collect such information. When you visit various sites, a lot of files are collected on the device, which slows down the functioning of the system and the speed of the browser.

Picture: bestproxyreviews.com

There are several options for popular browsers that differ in settings and functionality. But every browser has options for clearing cookies. The names of the sections may differ, but the general principle of action for all programs is the same. To access the files, you need to go to your browser settings, select the “security” section and find the tab with cookies. Then you should select the names of the sites for which you want to delete cookies and mark the desired period. Then follow the steps to delete files.

You can also block the collection and processing of personal information for certain sites in your browser settings. Also, to administer and clear cookies, you can use additional programs that automate most of the actions.

What is the result

The cookie contains valuable data. Internet resources use such information to track the actions and interests of users. Such information is also used for targeting advertising settings. Cookies improve the usability of websites and optimize page loading.

UX Design – User Experience Design
UX Design – User Experience Design

If the correct settings are selected in the browser, the user complies with information security rules, and secure protocols are used on the sites – all these actions significantly increase the protection of personal information. Also, to optimize the functioning of the system and the browser, it is recommended to clear unnecessary cookies.

1
Content Share