What Are Cookies and What Are they Used for?
What are cookies?
Cookies are data packages that are saved on your device by websites in order to store information about your navigation status.
They are made up of small-sized files, which are composed of numbers and characters. Each time a web user goes back to the same website, it will load the cookies stored on the user’s device. This can be considered as a core user identification method and generally improves and speeds up the user’s website experience.
In Windows 10 and Mozilla Firefox, cookies are stored in the following location:
Underneath, you'll see an example of what a cookie can look like:
SNID50=eR0azHquz-E32l1B7uLIasD63_ZWxrS9fkAc37Z4CQ=Q4levhdDnydqiJGNgoogle.ro/verify 9728 2076339328 30210107 446809680 30173295 *
What are the different types of cookies stored on my device?
These cookies are commonly used by online shops and allow, for example, the website to remember what items you added to your shopping card. Consequently, if you open the same website in a new tab or window, your items will still be stored in your shopping card. These cookies will expire as soon as the web browser is closed.
These cookies are primarily used by websites that feature a registration/log-in for its users. These cookies allow the website to remember you, so it will not require your password each time you open it in a new window, or open it again after a few days or a few weeks even. The law regarding permanent cookies stipulates that they have to be deleted after a period of 6 months.
These cookies are installed by third-parties with the aim of collecting information. This information is used to carry out research into behavior or demographics, for instance. A good example of third-party cookies are the ones used by the Google Analytics platform.
Can cookies be blocked?
Yes, the cookie law states that users must be able to block cookies; below we will explain how you can do this. However, keep in mind that almost all websites on the internet are using cookies, and that by blocking them you will limit your internet navigation possibilities and the website's Google Analytics data.
You can manually delete your cookies from the directory they are saved in, or use a program like CCleaner to delete all stored cookies for you (keep in mind that these type of programs are capable of deleting other files too).
According to the Cookie Law, all websites that use non-functional cookies must ask for your permission before storing them on your device. You either need to block these cookies manually for the websites that asks you to accept them, or configure your browser to block any cookies attempting to reach your device.
You can also configure your browser to alert you on all cookies that are sent to your device.