Cookies - What Are Cookies And How To Safely Clear Cookies
Let us learn about cookies. What are cookies, what are different types of cookies, and what is their exact use? Also, are cookies harmful? How to clear cookies? Can tracking cookies slow down your computer? Let us find out.
What Are Cookies?
You must have always wondered what are cookies? When we browse through a website the files that store our preferences, choices, and clicks in the browser and also in the server are known as cookies. Cookies store browsing sessions and user’s data. With permission of the user and as per their web activity, cookies also store passwords, user preferences, and choices.
Cookies are text files or small pieces of data (usernames or passwords) used to identify a particular computer from the computer network. HTTP cookies are specifically used to identify certain users and improve their overall web browsing experience.
While you are connected to a server, it creates data based on the connection that is stored in a cookie. This piece of data has a unique ID labelled to it which is only known to you and your computer.
When the cookie is exchanged between the network server and your computer, the ID is read by the server and serves you with the information you need. This is possible because of the knowledge the server gained post reading the ID after your computer exchanged cookies.
Different Types of Cookies:
In general, cookies function in the same manner, but they are used in different cases. There are 2 types of cookies, they are:
Magic cookies: These are packets of information that are sent and received without changes. Magic cookies are an old computing term. Their common job is to save passwords while logging in to computer database systems, like internal business networks. Magic cookie concept predates the modern-day “cookie” we know.
HTTP cookies: These are revamped versions of magic cookies. HTTP cookies are mainly built for internet browsing. Lou Montulli, a web browser programmer in 1994 created this concept for browsers. He helped an online shopping store fix overloaded servers. Montulli was inspired by magic cookies while recreating this modern cutting-edge concept.
HTTP cookie as what we know today is used to manage and make our online experience seamless. However, hackers and people with malicious intentions use this concept to spy and steal user information by accessing their online activity illegally.
What Are Cookies Used For?
Cookies make our online experience seamless. Without them, we’d have to log in multiple times after we leave a site or again look for the information we gathered if we lose the page or accidentally close it. Therefore, making cookies are an important part of the whole internet experience.
Here are a few uses of cookies:
Session Management: For example, cookies allow websites to recognize a user by recalling their past information and preferences, like news related to politics, sports, and entertainment media.
Personalization: Cookies personalize the web sessions. The users see certain items or parts of a site through advertisements that are customized as per their past data, this way cookies use data from our past web sessions and customizes ads that may interest us.
Tracking: Cookies are also useful for shopping sites to track items or things the user has previously viewed, allowing them to suggest to the user with similar items that they interest in buying.
You might also like to read What is cache?
Frequently Asked Questions About Cookies
1. What happens if I clear all cookies?
You will lose all your web browsing experience if you delete cookies. All websites where you previously logged in or set preferences won’t recognize you, items added to the shopping cart will also be removed when you delete cookies. A cookie will be created each time you add items or log in to the site.
2. Is it a good idea to remove all cookies?
Yes it is good to delete them because :
They are a security threat
While slowing down your browser
They store personal information
When you use a public or shared computer , it stores information that is accessible by the person who logs in after you.
3. How often should I clear cookies?
You can clear all cookies around once a month. Also, you should do this if you see a drop in browser performance or after visiting a shady website. Although you will have to enter your login credentials on frequently visiting websites, to protect your privacy, is worth it. If you’re using a public computer, you should delete them and other data, such as browsing history, right after your session.
4. Do cookies slow down your computer?
Despite their small size, cookies take up space on your computer. Your system will slow down if too many cookies are accumulated over long periods of time.
5. Will clearing cookies delete passwords?
Yes, clearing cookies clears session login data, which includes the previously entered username and password. This means you have to re-login on the site again.
But clearing these many things carefully can be a hard task, and often time-consuming.
Clear your cookies and get:
Safe Browsing: You save yourself from saving your crucial details on the websites you surf on clearing the cookies & cache.
Fast Browsing: Deleting the Cookie & Cache increases the loading time of the web pages.
Clear Local Data: With Breeze Chrome Extension, you can clear browser local storage data with one click
Browse newly-updated webpages: Avoid the conflict between cached data and cookies and experience the new updates on the websites.