Cookies stored in a user’s web browser are a crucial component of modern web navigation. Cookie Consent talks have been going on for more than ten years, since its introduction in 1994. Even among today’s most devoted internet users, there is a significant knowledge gap about cookies, their purpose, and the circumstances under which they should or should not be accepted.
This post discusses cookies, internet safety, and data privacy.
Cookies must be understood thoroughly for proper use. Using cookies appropriately may protect your sensitive data and valuable information.
Likewise, enabling Cookies irresponsibly has the opposite effect. If you allow cookies on every site, you might risk how sensitive information is kept and shared.
Cookies are little text files that are stored on your computer when you visit a website. As far as the technology goes, it should enhance your time when surfing the site. If you log in with the same credentials and like to do the same things every time, the website will remember that about you.
For example: All of us have seen a popup or other warning about cookies. Some websites allow you to select whether to accept cookies.
So, is it safe to enable cookies? What is a cookie? Read on to see how cookies affect your cyber security below.
What Are Cookies?
When a person visits a website, small files called “cookies” are put on their computer. Cookies are mostly made so that a website can see what the user has done on it in the past.
Cookies, for instance, let a site keep track of which buttons or pages a user has clicked on or opened in the past. Personal details like a username, email, and home/work address can also be saved in cookies.
If you have provided this data on a website, it will be recorded. And people often get cookies and cache mixed up.
The biggest difference between the two is that cache stores online data to speed up access. Cookies, on the other hand, keep track of what you do on a website so that it can show you more relevant content.
Cookies are generally considered as bad because cybercriminals may use them to gain personal data.
As a protective step, you can mask your IP address. The inevitable next question is how to disguise my IP address. By utilising a VPN. Always select trustworthy services so you have the best protection.
Cookies can threaten privacy. Marketing cookies may now follow users over time, collecting ad impressions, views, and clicks, restricting popups, and remembering ad sequence. They may now profile/track website preferences.
Most popular websites have adopted large-scale third-party ad serving networks like Google’s Adsense/Adwords, sparking controversy and alarm among online consumer privacy advocates and leading to specific laws to avoid abuse.
What are some of the functions of Cookies?
Keep your login info safe: A major role of cookies on websites is to keep track of users’ login credentials. For the sake of the website’s visitors, this is of critical importance. Thanks to cookies, returning visitors to a website are spared the hassle of entering their login details each time they see its pages.
Personalised user web journey: Cookies are a form of technology used on the site to enhance the visitor experience. For instance, cookies might keep track of the specific kind of material you enjoy and then propose more of the same. The goal is to make using the site easier and more enjoyable for you.
Tracking habits: Cookies remember user-modified site settings. It remembers users’ language, colour, and resolution settings.When the user returns to the website, it will instantly offer the prior settings, ensuring a seamless and delightful experience.
Types of Cookies include –
Session Cookies: It occurs when a cookie is removed when the browser closes. Session cookies do not save data. They normally save user information in a session identifier.
Persistent Cookies: Whereas, permanent or stored cookies are cookies that remain on your hard drive until they expire or you delete them. Persistent cookies record browsing habits and website choices.
Third-party Cookies: Third-party Cookies are placed on a site by a third party. This suggests a site you’re not visiting is creating Cookies. Typically for advertising.
With these cookies, you’ll see adverts that match your search on search and shopping sites. Third-party cookies are the most dangerous. Cyberattacks and ransomware often target third-party cookies.
Handle cookies with caution
Most cookie-related security risks can be avoided or at least mitigated by taking appropriate precautions when engaging in online activities. Follow these steps to future-proof yourself from cookie-related dangers −
- Be wary when sharing personally identifying information. Never send sensitive information over email from a shared computer.
- You can disable cookie storage in your browser. In addition to reducing data transfer, this may also affect your browser’s privacy settings.
- Protect your privacy when online by using an extension to your browser that blocks trackers and cookies.
- Malware can sneak into advertising networks or pose as innocuous cookies, so it’s important to maintain your anti-malware software current at all times.
- If you are suspicious of a website’s legitimacy, you should exit the page immediately.
Cookies by themselves don’t pose a substantial security risk. However, the information stored in cookies is vulnerable and can be used maliciously.
Users need to prioritise the safe and judicious usage of cookies as one of the most critical routine security practices. Always using the most recent browser version is essential, as is the habitual clearing of cookies. Blocking third-party cookies is recommended, as they provide the greatest security risk.
Creative Networks offers top-notch cybersecurity. We’ve protected businesses from cyber threats for years. Find out if our security strategies are suited for your business.