Have you ever visited an online store and added your purchases to your cart, and then you exited your browser and have not submitted your order during that session? And then you returned to the website and surprisingly found out that all the items you added are still in the cart? And when you wondered how this happened, the answer is the use of Internet cookies. Such cookies enable providing a customized user experience by keeping small amounts of data.
Cookies on computer exist to save your individual preferences such as your location, language, currency, etc. This is how they help users. But how can cookies be harmful to users? Let’s find it out together in this article.
We will start by defining what cookies are. Cookies mean the stored pieces of user information that are used to enhance the browsing experience. Your server creates cookies and sends them to your browser. This kind of data exchange lets your web page determine your computer or other device and provide information in your current session tailored to your previous sessions. It makes the user experience for future sessions more personalized.
Different types of cookies
Here are the main types of cookies that are most commonly used.
- Session type of cookies. These are the most secure type of web cookies. They remember a device during the session and transfer the data.
- Persistent type of cookies. This kind of cookie is more permanent than the previous one. It is used for identifying a certain computer so that the user remains logged in while navigating between different pages. These cookies also monitor numerous visits to the same website page. So when you have the situation that we described at the beginning of this article, this is all because of permanent cookies being used.
- Supercookies. Although they are considered a type of cookie file, they are not cookies at all. These files are more harmful than the previous two types. They restore themselves even when you clear the browser cache and keep on tracking your activities.
This depends on the situation. In a nutshell, cookies are aimed at positive things. They enhance user experience, remember important preferences and parameters, and make the Internet more user-centered. However, some of them can become a threat to your device. Data that cookies files stored can be easily accessed by hackers and used for harmful purposes such as critical data theft or tracking your online activities. Here are the ways why accepting cookies will be beneficial for your experience:
- Access to different websites. The first benefit is very easy. If you don’t accept cookies, you may not get access to certain websites.
- Streamlined login. Cookies kept in your browser also can keep your log-in details. This can be useful when you log in to your frequently used websites, especially if you don’t remember all of your passwords.
- Enhanced user experience. Cookies can be useful because they assist in remembering you as a user. This can help enhance your personal user experience. Knowing about you, cookies can customize your experience to your preferences and interests. This speeds up your experience and makes it more convenient – it especially pertains to your shopping experiences. Saving items and preferences is one of the best examples to illustrate the assistance of cookies.
While cookies have to deal with Internet safety, many people consider VPN as the way to avoid threats to your privacy. However, VPN add on doesn’t work with the cookies directly. VPN enables a safe connection to safeguard your online privacy by allowing IP address encryption and giving your device a fake IP address, so your real IP address is not accessible to the websites you are visiting.
The cookies will still be stored in your browser as many websites need these files to store your privacy settings. You can always add a VPN to your browser, like Chrome or Firefox VPN addon to enhance your privacy on the Internet. This will work perfectly for hiding your location and encrypting sensitive data transferred from your device. Some VPN service providers like VeePN can offer extended features that reduce the potential harm from cookie usage.
It can happen that the website won’t work on your device if you don’t accept cookie tracking. In other cases, you will not have a dramatic difference in your experience.
How to reject all cookies?
Here are the ways to save yourself from browsing your experience and improve the quality of online activities.
- Avoid logging in to any websites. If you log into websites, including social media such as Google and Facebook, websites can monitor your browsing activities to some extent. It is all made to personalize your targeted advertisements. Google also uses powerful cookies to receive user data.
- Use private mode in browsers. Using different private or incognito modes in browsers will help store the cookies only during your session and stop monitoring when the session is over. When the cookies are deleted, you will have no problem with someone tracking your experience.
When is it better to reject cookies?
When you think about allowing cookie access, consider the following points. If you notice the things we mentioned below, it is better not to allow cookie files.
- Websites without encryption. If a website doesn’t use encryption, there is no safety for protecting your information. Such kind of unsecured access may permit third parties including hackers to steal cookies from your browser. This will expose your sensitive information including credit card numbers, and contact information.
- The use of third-party cookies. Not all cookies act the same way. If you have a choice about using third-party cookies, it is better to decline them. Exposing your data to third parties will make you more vulnerable.
- Slowed Internet speed. If you keep too many cookies in your browser, it can affect the Internet speed. They take up much disk space and harm your browsing experience.