When we visit various websites on the Internet, especially, those sites that ask us to enter login data, such as, online shopping sites. Even though, We find that, we have completely left the website, we may find that, this data exists automatically, when we visit the same website for the second time. Especially, the login details of the e-mail and password.
In addition to this data, we may find that there are some ads, that appear automatically to us on the various pages of the website. If we look closely around them, we find that, these ads may touch one aspect of our needs, and interests in a large way, whether, it is a product or service that we may need in one way or another.
All of these details are managed on website pages, on the Internet with a feature called Cookies.
Cookies have a bad reputation, as you can hardly hear about them, except in the form of a warning. We may think that, they are harmful files such as viruses and the like, but this imagination is wrong.
After reading this article, you will find the answers of below questions:
“Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage’s whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men“Ayn Rand – a Russian-American writer and philosopher
1. What are Cookies?
Cookies are text files of very small size, which are saved on your computer, and include your information about your preferred settings, and other data that the system needs, when interacting with the browser, therefore, which allows the website to retrieve it, when needed. And, these files are used by websites in order to facilitate access, in instance, to access it again, by not asking you to enter your information every time, and to avoid slow browsing.
However, the information stored in cookies differs from website to website. It contain information such as user preferences, cart contents, or other data used by websites. But, rest assured, these websites are unable to retrieve any personal information, about the user or even the device, except for the information stored in the text file of the website.
“As the law catches up and the battle between corporate profits and social good plays out, we need to be careful not to be lulled into a false sense of privacy “Hannah Fry – a British mathematician, author
2. What are the types of cookies?
There are two types of cookies, the first is session, and the second is persistent:
2.1. Session Cookies:
They are a type of temporary cookie, which that is deleted when you close your browser, and when you restart your computer as well, when you return to the website, for which the cookie was created, it will not recognize you. However, a new session will start, then new cookies will be created, and they will keep working until the browser is closed again.
2.2. Persistent Cookies:
In this type, it’s kept in the browser’s sub-folders, in instance, until you delete it manually, or the browser deletes it for them. Based on the time period of the cookie.
The first-party cookies, which are those determined by the website being visited, and third-party that are set by another website than the website being visited, and you of course are the second-party.
“I don’t tweet, I don’t go on Facebook. I think there’s too much information about all of us out there. I’m liking the idea of privacy more and more“George Clooney – an American actor
3. What’s the classification of it?
The cookies which used on websites can be categorized as follows:
3.1. Necessary Cookies:
Strictly, cookies are necessary, to enable you to fully experience the website, and use the features, and functions available to you, such as accessing safe areas of the website.
Websites use this type to deal with user registration and login. And, without it, the services you have requested cannot be provided. Cookies are first-party, and they can be permanent or temporary. Thus, without it, the sites wouldn’t function properly or be unable to provide certain features and functions.
3.2. Performance cookies:
In this type, it’s collecting some information about how visitors use the website.
Mostly, modern browsers allow users to decide to accept cookies, and the time frame to keep them, but rejecting it makes some websites unusable. For example, shopping carts which designed with cookies, don’t work when are disabled.
“Everything is accessible to everyone all the time, and I think there are wondrous things to treasure with what the Internet has made available to journalists. But I think it’s also had some effects that are less pleasant. It has chipped away at a sense of privacy and secrecy“Bill Keller – an American journalist
4. How to deposit cookies on a user’s computer?
When you enter the website address in the address bar, in instance, the browser stores the information, which that contains the IP address of the device, in addition to the type of browser used, in addition to the operating system that manages the device, and stores this information in special files, which are called log files, and at the same time browser searches for files cookies for the requested website, and if found, they are sent with a request to view the website, and here the website uses when it receives a request to view with the cookie the information in the file, for several different purposes, and if it doesn’t find the cookie, the website will realize that this visit is the first visit of the user, who logged in this website, and therefore sends it to the user’s device to be stored on it.
“It doesn’t thrill me to bits that the state has to use the tools of electronic surveillance to keep us safe, but it seems clear to me that it does, and that our right to privacy needs to be qualified, just as our other rights are qualified, in the interest of general security and the common good“John Lanchester – a British journalist and novelist
5. What are the components of it?
Mostly, cookie consists of six basic components, as per below:
- The file’s expiration date.
- Location that owns the file.
- The file paths.
- The file extent.
- The file’s encryption.
“Sometimes, giving up your privacy is a little like going to the dentist and we have let him have access that no one’s ever had“Tom Petty – an American singer-songwriter
6. How to change the information contained in cookies?
The website can change the information contained in the cookies files, and add some new information on every visit, that the user makes to this site.
So, it’s indicated that the process of storing files is done in memory only, and then they are deleted directly upon closing the browser, where they are known as persistent cookies.
They are stored for a specific period on the hard disk, until the expiration date, which may last for several months or sometimes several years, and it’s indicated that some cookies that display an expiration date for a previous date are deleted directly, and aren’t stored on the hard disk, and it is worth noting that, some major companies the cookies it issues, may be circulated to all its servers in order to coordinate the information included, and so that its servers don’t issue it for the same user, every time visits the different pages of the same website.
“You can’t talk about big data without talking about things like privacy and ownership“Rick Smolan – an American photographer in National Geographic
Finally, now you have an experience of what’s meaning of Cookies, and how it works and different types of it.
If you need more information about cookies and if it harmful or helpful, you can Click here.