What Are Web Cookies?
Cookies are often portrayed as the devil responsible for the fall of privacy, and the sole reason for their existence is to take your data, but that’s actually far from the truth. You should know that without cookies, you could kiss the internet as you know it goodbye. Cookies are responsible for a lot of the functions you need on the internet, such as keeping you logged in (so you wouldn’t have to log in each time you visit a page and it’s also responsible for the shopping cart in e-commerce websites. Let us explain why.
The cookies that you hear about all the time are called HTTP cookies and the are two types of them:
The first type is called session cookies. Session cookies are as harmless as cookies can be. As the name suggests, Session cookies work only while you’re on the website and disappear as soon as you close it and the data along with it.
The second type of cookies is called persistent cookies and these are the ones that stir up all the controversy. The first type of problem with this cookie is that it can stay indefinitely on your browser (however, most of them clear after two weeks). This type of cookie is the one responsible for personally identifying you and collecting data about you such as your browsing patterns.
We know this sounds bad; however, a lot of good comes from this type of cookie because, as a rule of thumb, the better a company knows about you, the better they can serve. The problem here comes with collect way too much data than they should or sell your data to other companies; of course not to forget third party cookies, which literally tracks you all over the web
Cookies are not inherently evil or a lousy invention, but many companies abused them, but that doesn’t mean that we should blame the cookies. If you like this article, you might also want to check out our article on APIs