General News May 21, 2023

What are cookies?

What are cookies, how do they work, and what are they for? The word “cookie”…

What are cookies, how do they work, and what are they for?

The word “cookie” translates from English as “cookie”. However, we are not going to talk about cookies in this article.

Cookies are widely used on websites and are an important component of the modern Internet. They are very useful in many ways and improve the user experience on websites, but they can also be a threat to privacy and personal information. We will now look at what cookies are, why websites use them, how they work in the browser, and how to reduce the risks of using them.

What are cookies?

Simply put, cookies are data that are stored in the memory of your computer or mobile device when you visit websites. They are stored as simple text files and are used to help a website remember information about you. For example, your Internet settings or authorization information.

Any data stored in cookies is generated by a Web server each time you visit the site. They are marked with a unique identifier that helps the server and site understand what information to give to the user.

How do cookies work?

The first time you visit a website, the server sends a specific cookie to the device that established the connection. Each time you visit the same site again, the browser sends that cookie to the server to identify the user. And the server, in turn, gives back a version of the site tailored to the previous browsing history.

Why do websites use cookies?

Cookies are used by websites for several reasons:


Cookies help a Web site remember a user’s personal information and provide data based on the user’s preferences. For example, a Web site may use cookies to remember that the user’s preferred language is English and that the user’s preferred interface theme is dark. The site will automatically open in this view every time thanks to cookie technology.


Enabling cookies can make it easier for users to access site accounts. Because cookies can contain data with login information, users will not have to enter their credentials every time they visit the site. The session will remain saved until the same user closes the account session or deletes the browser cookie.


Marketers often use cookies to track users who open certain pages and otherwise interact with the site. This information may be used to improve server performance or better understand user behavior on the Site.

Targeted Advertising

Cookies are often used to display advertisements based on browsing history. For example, if a user visits a website to inquire about an upcoming travel trip, that cookie may be used to display travel advertisements on other websites in the general network. This principle works, for example, with Google or Yandex ads.

What types of cookies are there?

There are two common types of cookies used by websites:

– Persistent cookies

Persistent cookies are used to authenticate and personalize your browsing experience. They contain information about user login credentials, settings, theme choices, and language preferences. A good example of a persistent cookie is the online shopping cart. You don’t even have to create an account on the site, but add the items you want to the shopping cart and they won’t disappear the next time you visit the site.

– Session cookies

Session cookies are created by the web server and are used to store information about your current session. Session cookies store information about your movements on the web site and track your input only during the active session. At the end of the session, these cookies are deleted from both the device and the web server.

– Can cookies be harmful or dangerous?

Cookie data by itself is not harmful and cannot be used to infect malware. However, if cookie data gets into the wrong hands, attackers can access browsing sessions, steal personal information, or use cookies for other purposes. Cases have been documented in which attackers have stolen a user’s valid cookies and hijacked their active session, giving full access to the victim’s account. Although most sites automatically log out after a certain period of inactivity, sometimes it’s worth reassuring yourself. For example, if it is not a regular user account, but a site administrator account, it is worth periodically clearing cookies so that attackers cannot take advantage of them.


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