You will notice that certain websites will offer you a web cookie. Is the site about to mail you a cookie, or is it going to send you some cute cookie image? No, not really, as it’s suppose to aid your web browsing experience. A web cookie is a small piece of data sent from a website and stored in a user's web browser.
When you accept a cookie, users may need to fill out some personal information, the next time you visit the site, your browser will send the cookie to the web server. These web servers are unable to save any information. Instead, it will send a cookie file from the browser within your PC's storage device.
The cookies can be used for a variety of purposes such as personalizing websites based of users' preferences, an example being to remember their login information. Managing your browsing session by maintaining data, online shopping carts are one good example as users can store items that they want while they navigate the site. Lastly, cookies can be used to track users' browsing habits, allowing website managers to see what they can do to further improve their site.
A common misconception that users have of cookies is that they carry unwanted viruses into their PCs. This is not true as the cookies are merely text files. However, that does not mean that they can't be used for malicious purposes as well. Users should be aware of cookies that track your activities to build a profile of your interests. When enough information has been built up, people can sell your information to others, who then may use that to sell you their products or solutions. This is one of the main ways telemarketing materials and junk mails get channeled into your inbox.
Web cookies may indeed help users with their daily Internet activities, allowing you to conveniently access websites; however, they can also lead to users being monitored for malicious purposes.
Till next time.
Chong Jinn Wei / Freelance Writer
A person who is torn between the digital realm and the material realm. Loves videogames, manga and especially Gundams though I am currently trying stay a float in the vast ocean that is the Internet.