Cookies have been criticized for their potential to cause harm and for invading users’ privacy. This is not a discussion about the type of cookie that you consume. We are speaking about cookies stored on your computer. It’s not entirely accurate to say that cookies are inherently bad.
What exactly is a cookie, what does it consist of, and what purpose does it serve? A website can set a cookie on your computer as you browse. People aren’t aware that a website can only read and write the cookies it creates on its domain. Cookies are used to keep track of user preferences.
It is unable to access the cookies stored on another website. Cookies can be used to store a variety of information, like a name or a selection decision that you made on a website. This information will be read back to you when you load other pages on the website or when someone else visits in the future.
Why are cookies necessary for a website to use in the first place? Web browsers have no local storage or history. Each page you view on a stateless website is a separate and independent activity. For instance, the web server cannot determine whether the same user who made a request for the home page also made a request for the order page.
Desktop applications, such as Microsoft Excel, which you run on your computer, are not the same thing as this. The web server treats each request for a page as an independent request for that page; it does not consider your activity a continuous visit.
What prevents you from having to reenter the information or reselect it when you load each website page while navigating around it, selecting things, and making choices? A cookie is a typical response to this question.
The web server can track you as a user by using a cookie. This allows the web server to recognize you as you navigate from page A to page B. Additionally, the website developer can reference the items stored in your cookie to maintain a stateful experience for your session or visit to the website.
You can delete your cookies in a few different ways. You may wish to or have to remove your cookies on occasion. Most web browsers, including Microsoft Internet Explorer, Netscape, Firefox, Opera, and others, can perform this task in various ways; thus, check the Help menu of your browser to erase the cache files and cookies.
There are also several software packages available, and most of these packages remove cookies in addition to cleaning your computer. Do cookies pose any kind of threat to one’s safety or well-being? A website can save the information you type into forms on web pages by using cookies; this is the source of certain security problems.
When you browse the internet, cookies give you a better overall experience as a user. In almost all cases, this does not result in difficulty. However, before allowing another person to use your computer or taking it to a location to be fixed or serviced, you should completely remove the cache and cookies stored in your browser.
Because each browser is different, you must consult the help files for your specific browser (such as Microsoft Internet Explorer, Netscape, Firefox, Opera, and so on) to clear your cache and remove any cookies.