As much as we’d love to talk about cookies as baked goods, the ones found on the internet are not the same (unless you are navigating through a bakery website). Cookies on websites are one of the most important components available on the modern-day internet.

If you are wondering what are cookies on the internet, then you have come to the right place. This blog will provide details on everything you need to know about cookies on the internet.

Internet Cookies

Cookies are tiny files that contain data about your online activities while you are browsing the website. These files are stored in your browser and are used to customize the whole website experience for when you visit the website again.

For instance, one such information cookies collect is login credentials. So next time you visit the page again, you won’t have to manually input your login credentials, rather the information gets filled automatically. For instance, when you log in to the Xfinity website with your credentials, your information gets saved into the browser, and automatically sign in the next time you visit the Xfinity website.

Amazon is another website that also uses this technique to store information about your online activities. When you order an item from Amazon, you enter a form containing your name and address. Amazon then assigns you an ID, stores your information with that ID in its server, and then sends that ID to the browser as a cookie. The browser saves that information into your computer/device. When you visit the Amazon website again,

Hence, cookies on the websites are meant to make the whole website navigation convenient for you.

Use of Cookies on the Internet

Apart from saving your login credentials, other things cookies can do are:

  • Authenticate your identity
  • Save your chosen language preference
  • Remember preferred settings
  • Show you targeted ads and track how you interact with ads
  • Provide personalized recommendations
  • Auto-fill information on forms
  • Track what you view on the website

What are the Types of Cookies on Websites?

When browsing through the websites, it’s important to understand what types of cookies you will come across:

Session Cookies

These are also known as temporary cookies, that save your preferences about navigating through the websites. Session cookies only keep user information for as long as the user is browsing the website. Once the user closes the website, session cookies are deleted.

Session cookies are mostly used on e-commerce websites.

Permanent Cookies

These types of cookies still remain in operation even when the user has exited the website. That’s why they’re also known as ‘persistent cookies’.

Permanent cookies can remember your login credentials so that you don’t need to enter them again every time you visit that particular website.

First-Party Cookies

These cookies get installed by the websites that you are visiting, as they allow website owners to collect information regarding analysis reports, and language preferences, as well as perform other functions to provide an overall good user experience.

Third-Party Cookies

Some websites also allow advertisers to take advantage of the cookies setting while promoting their ads. Such cookies by advertisers are called third-party cookies.

These third-party cookies collect user information such as behavior while visiting the website, demographics, or spending habits. Advertisers need this information to ensure that they are promoting their products or services to the right market.

Flash Cookies

These kinds of cookies get installed into your computer and cannot be accessed or controlled by the browser’s privacy controls. This means that flash cookies will be available to all browsers.

However, these cookies are designed to be permanently stored on your computer, even after all the other cookies have been deleted.

An example of flash cookies is the Adobe Flash multimedia plugin that allows you to play audio/video files on the website.

What is the Cookie Policy of a Website?

Following are the rules about cookies that all websites need to follow;

  • Inform the user when and what cookies are being used
  • Inform the user of the purpose behind these cookies
  • And collect user’s intent before allowing cookies on the website

Wrapping Up

Now that you understand what are cookies on the internet, you may be wondering if they are safe. We are here to tell you that cookies, or even third-party cookies, don’t discover who you are personally. Instead, they collect information about your interests and recent web searches.

However, you do have the option to deny these cookies, or even customize them in settings. That way you are aware of what kind of information is being collected.