Also known as browser or tracking cookies, these are small, usually encrypted text files, located in your browser directory.
They are used by publishers on the Internet to help users navigate websites and perform certain functions. Thanks to their core role in improving the usability or functionality of a site, completely disabling cookies can prevent users from using certain websites.
this is how some sites know when you come back and keep you logged in, or will show you certain pages you like. Often it can be used to show some content only once – say a popup or pop-under or other ad that only appears the first time you visit a site and not every time you change pages or revisit.
Created when your browser loads a specific website. The website sends the information to the browser which then creates a text file. Every time the user returns to the same website, the browser fetches and sends this file to the web server.
Created not only by the websites a user is browsing at any given moment, but also by other websites that run ads, widgets, or other page elements. it governs how ads appear or how widgets and other elements function on the page.
Standard use for browser cookies
The website sets cookies to help authenticate the user if the user logs into a secure area of the website. Login or credential information is stored in cookies so that users can log in and out of websites without having to retype the same login information over and over again.
Session Cookies are used by web servers to store information about user page activity so that users can easily resume from the last page they left on the server page. Without the use of these cookies, web pages cannot ‘remember’ where you were on your last visit – this can only be done with the use of session cookies. Session Cookies tell the server what page to show the user so that the user doesn’t have to remember where he left off or start navigating the site all over again. Session Cookies function almost like “bookmarks” when used on such sites. Similarly, cookies can store the ordering information needed to make the shopping cart work instead of forcing the user to remember all the items the user puts in the shopping cart. This is very useful if your system is experiencing connectivity problems or your computer crashes.
Persistent or tracking cookies
Persistently saves user preferences. Many websites allow users to customize exactly how information is presented through the layout or theme of the site. These adjustments make the site easier to navigate and/or allow the user to leave some of the user’s “personality” on the site.
Security and privacy issues
THIS IS NOT A VIRUS. Cookies use a plain text format. They are not compiled code snippets so they cannot be executed or executed on their own. Thus, they cannot make copies of themselves and spread to other networks to be executed and replicated again. Because they cannot perform these functions, they fall outside the definition of a standard virus.
CAN be used for nefarious purposes though. Because they store information about a user’s browsing preferences and history, both on a specific site and browsing between multiple sites, they can be used to act as a form of spyware.
For more details, please check at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTTP_cookie
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