What is a Cookie? How it works and ways to stay safe
What is a cookie?
A cookie is a small text file that’s stored on your computer when you visit a website. Cookies allow websites to remember information about your browsing session, such as items in an online shopping cart or which search results are most important to you. Cookies can also be used by third-party services like Google Analytics, which helps website owners understand how visitors interact with their website so they can make improvements.
How do cookies help you?
Cookies are small text files that websites place on your computer when you visit them. They store information about your preferences, the pages you visit, and the content of those pages.
This is what cookies can do for you:
- Remember your preferences, like whether you want to read articles in English or Spanish, or whether to show images
- Remember login information so you don’t have to type it every time
- Keep track of items in a shopping cart and other details of an order once it’s placed so they are easier to find later on when checking out (or if something else goes wrong)
How do cookies work?
You’ve probably heard of cookies.
Cookies are small files that get downloaded to your computer or mobile device when you visit a website. Cookies are often used to store information about your activities on a website, such as your login name and password, so that you don’t have to re-enter this information every time you visit the site.
Cookies can also be used by businesses for targeted advertising purposes. For example, if someone visits one website that sells kitchen appliances and then visits another website that offers coupons for kitchen appliances, they may receive an ad from that first site offering a discount on their next purchase*.
What are the different types of cookies?
There are two types of cookies: session and persistent.
Session cookies expire when you close your browser, while persistent cookies remain on your computer until they expire or are deleted.
First-party cookies track users from the website that set them (the first party) to the user’s activity on other websites that host that first-party company’s advertisement or content. For example, an advertiser may use Google Analytics in order to collect data about site visitors’ browsing history and use it for ad targeting purposes.
Third-party cookies track users from a third-party website to another website where they have no interaction with a said third party (e.g., Facebook). This makes it possible for marketers to better target their ads based on what users are doing online rather than just where they live or work!
What are third-party cookies?
Third-party cookies are used by websites that are not the website you’re currently visiting. They allow websites to track your online activity and build a profile of your browsing history.
Examples of third-party cookies include:
- Advertising networks such as Google AdSense, DoubleClick, and Facebook Connect. These networks help advertisers connect with consumers based on their interests as identified through previous web browsing activity (including location information). They typically serve advertisements or links from other sites that may have different privacy policies than the current website being visited, so it’s important to understand how these technologies work before agreeing to use them.
- Analytics services like Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics collect data about what people do when they visit your website or app; this can include information about pages viewed and times spent on those pages but also more granular details such as what was clicked on within content areas.
How to block and delete cookies.
You can manage cookies in your browser, phone, laptop, and tablet.
- For more information about how to manage cookies in your browser, please see the Help section of the relevant web browser.
- For more information about how to manage cookies on your Android phone or tablet, please see the Help section of your device software.
- For more information about how to manage cookies on Apple devices (such as iPhones or iPads), please see this article: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT203083
- For more information about how to manage cookies on Microsoft Windows 10 devices: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/12387/windows-10-privacy#Section2
Cookies can be helpful but also need to be managed carefully.
You may not have given much thought to cookies since you were a kid, but they’re still an important part of the modern internet experience. Whether you like it or not, cookies are used to help websites identify your location and preferences so that they can provide a personalized user experience.
Here’s what you need to know about cookies:
- Cookies are small text files stored on your computer by websites you visit for various reasons (such as remembering certain settings).
- These files can be helpful in improving your overall browsing experience. For example, if you set up multiple Google accounts for different purposes (like work and personal accounts), those sites will save information about which accounts belong together so that the next time you log in with one account, all relevant information from another account is available automatically without having to enter it again manually each time. This kind of convenience makes life easier but also means companies collect more data about us as consumers than ever before — and we don’t always notice how much they’re learning until it’s too late!