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Browser Cookies Explained

Browser Cookies Explained

When someone mentions cookies, people start paying attention. Chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, snickerdoodles… Browser? While Browser cookies aren’t the most scrumptious, they do need some attention. Nowadays, many websites you visit have a popup asking if they want to allow cookies for that site and knowing what you are agreeing to is important. In today’s blog, we will describe what cookies are, how they work, and why they can sometimes be better than cookies with chocolate chips. 

What is a Browser Cookie?

Browser cookies are small text files created by websites and stored on a user's device (computer, smartphone, or tablet) while they browse the internet. These files contain data about the user's interaction with the website, such as login information, preferences, and activity history. The primary purpose of cookies is to enhance the user's browsing experience by remembering their actions and preferences, which enables websites to provide a more personalized and efficient service. For example, cookies can store login sessions, so users do not have to re-enter their password each time they visit new pages on the site.

Cookies Aren’t All the Same

There are different types of cookies, each serving specific functions. Session cookies are temporary and are deleted once the browser is closed, while persistent cookies remain on the device for a set period or until manually deleted. First-party cookies are created by the website the user is visiting, while third-party cookies are set by external services or advertisers embedded in the website. These third-party cookies are often used for tracking users across multiple sites to gather data for targeted advertising and analytics, raising privacy concerns among users and regulatory bodies.

Why Do Cookies Exist?

Cookies also play a crucial role in website functionality and user experience. They enable features such as online shopping carts, where items remain in the cart even if the user navigates away from the site. Cookies can also help websites remember user preferences, such as language settings or themes, making future visits smoother and more customized. However, due to privacy concerns, many jurisdictions have implemented regulations requiring websites to obtain user consent before storing cookies, and users have the option to manage or delete cookies through their browser settings.

While you may not enjoy browser cookies as much as you would the sweet kind, they do play an important role when browsing online. For more great technology content, return to our blog soon. 

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