What are cookies and what do they do? No, they’re not the kind you dunk with milk. Cookies are small files that contain data and stored on your computer. The data is usually created when your computer communicates with a web server through any software you use. When you visit a web page, a script is run to determine the data found in the cookie and the data is carried over as you go through the different pages of the website. Cookies shouldn’t really pose a risk to you if you visit safe websites.

Browser Cookies and What They Do

So how do site cookies work exactly? In each file, it contains encrypted information such as keys, data or even information like the username. This allows you to log in a webpage and continue visiting pages on the webpage without having to re-login on every visit. Just imagine a website like Facebook, your login and even if you choose other profiles, you are still logged in your account without having to keep on logging in at each visit.

How are Cookies Created

Visiting a website doesn’t just create a cookie. However, when you submit data in any way, the cookie is created to keep track of that data. This doesn’t mean however that the cookie contains the actual data but just a tag to keep track of said data.

Are Cookies Safe?

Many people ask if computer cookies are safe. Normally, they do not pose any privacy threats as they only store small data in relation to the actual data on websites.  What’s important is the actual data in the website server. So, if you’re really worried about submitting any data, you should decide if you are okay with entrusting it to an outside server. If you don’t want the data coming out, then don’t submit it at all. This includes personal data, pictures, videos and more.

Internet Ads and Cookies

Another function of cookies is for internet advertising. Websites use it to store small bits of data to give you a catered advertising experience. For example, search sites keep a track of your queries and will provide you advertisements based on those. So, if you’re searching for tips on weight loss, then your adverts will be more on weight loss. Some people are not comfortable about this but remember, free websites earn from the ads and they’ll try to show you ads that you might have a better chance of clicking. If you don’t like this feature, you can always turn it off in your browser settings and employ plugins and software such as add blocks.

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