What are Cookies? What are they used for? - Tecbound Technology

What are Cookies? What are they used for?

Do you know about computer cookies?
Cookies are a technology which is daily used in our internet browsing. The understanding of cookies is important for users because their misuse can be costly. Failure to familiarize with it may result in a privacy breach. So what are cookies and how do different types of cookies work?

What are Cookies?

Websites store information of their visitors by using small text files. These files are stored at your device. They record your interactions with the website to ease and quicken user experience. Think of them as an identifier through which a website can determine your identity and provide relevancy. When a user visits a website, the server of the website communicates with the cookie downloaded in your storage (e.g. hard drive) and replies accordingly.

What are Cookies used for?

Cookies are further classified into a number of types. Each of these cookies functions differently.

Session Cookie

A session cookie resides in the temporary memory as long as you surf on the internet. When the browsing session is terminated, their information gets deleted. An example of a session cookie can be experienced from the a-commerce website. When you select a product on a webpage and then go along the succeeding webpages to confirm your order, the session’s cookie memorizes all of your actions so the shopping cart can be updated. This means that if there were no session cookies, then the CHECKOUT webpage may have no idea what you were doing on the website.

Third-party Cookies

Third party cookies are created for a separate domain, not the one which initially forwarded them. Their usage is mainly focused on tracking the activities of the user to gain insights into their behavior. Hence, they are mainly used by ad agencies. They can raise privacy concerns because sometimes they get their hands on a sensitive piece of information.

HttpOnly Cookies

Some cookies can only be permitted by the HTTP protocol. They can be only accessed by the website which developed them. Note that only a session cookie is eligible for being HttpOnly. These cookies have a flag that directs browsers for avoiding their display in client-side website scripts because hackers can make exploit a XSS vulnerability to copy data.

Persistent Cookies

Persistent cookies are also known as tracking cookies. They reside in the devices of the user till they are explicitly removed or they are expired .i.e. their expiry date is reached. Generally, they store preferences from a website for a permanent period of time. Examples of persistent cookies can be login credentials, bookmarks or favorites, your language preference, etc.

Secure Cookies

Secure cookies work only with HTTPS connection. This cookie is encrypted .i.e. its content can be only accessed by the sender and the receiver. When websites have to store sensitive information of their users, they make sure to use secure cookies. Usually, financial details like credit card and debit cards are masked via these cookies. Hence, these are the safest types of cookies.

To get a more detailed insight for a cookie if you are either interested in using it as a business owner or want to know their implications as an end-user, contact us

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