News Cookies: do you know what do they serve for?

Cookies: do you know what do they serve for?

Surely you have agreed to the use of cookies on many websites. But do you know what they are used for and on what principle they work? We wrote basic information about cookies in one article.

No matter which website you visit, you will almost always come across an information bar stating that the site uses cookies to analyze number of visits, personalize advertisements or provide services. Without much thinking, you confirm your consent and continue browsing the Internet. But do you know what cookies are, what they are actually used for and if they bring some potential risks? Let's take a closer look at cookies and see how to turn them off or on if necessary.

Cookies have been used successfully since 1994

Although cookies became known to the general public in 2011, when the European Union looked closely at their use, they have been operating successfully in the world of the Internet for many years. Cookies have been a standard feature of the HTTP protocol since 1994, when the once popular Mosaic Netscape web browser began working with them.

The author of the cookies is considered to be an employee of Netscape Lou Montulli, who tried to find a way to achieve the memorization of user information without storing data directly on the server. Due to the effectiveness and benefits of such a solution, cookies began to be used in all browsers.

Cookies - small text files that are stored in memory

Under the term cookies, we can imagine small text files (the size of several KB) that the visited website sends to the Internet browser. If cookies are enabled, the browser stores them in the memory of your computer or mobile device. Each time you visit the same website, the browser sends the saved data back to the server and allows you to work with the stored information. The current internet browsers have cookies implemented in the SQLite database, where one record always represents one cookie. These include information about which site they come from and how long they are stored in memory.

Cookies make our lives easier

Although cookies are used, among other things, to personalize advertisements or to monitor website number of visits, their use makes it much easier for us to work on the Internet. You will be convinced of this when you delete all stored cookies from the browser once. You will be logged out on all portals suddenly, so you will have to enter your login details and passwords again. In the same way, the last viewed goods will disappear from your favorite e-shops and the previously filled shopping cart will be empty again. In short, all previously visited websites will lose the information they need to provide you with relevant content.

Cookies are also used to personalize advertisements

Although the improving user friendliness is an important task of cookies, they are also used for other purposes. The website operators use them extensively, especially for personalizing ads and tracking users. They can easily track what exactly the anonymous user viewed on the page and what he clicked on. Search information is then transferred between different sites. Have you ever searched the Internet for new laptops and they immediately started appearing in social networking advertisements or other websites you visited? This happened due to cookies, which have stored information about your interests and about what you are looking for most often on the Internet.

How to turn cookies on and off

If for any reason you are bothered by the storage of cookies on your computer, you have the option of switching them off and on as needed, as well as deleting them. So how do you switch on or off the function of cookie storage? It always depends on which internet browser you use. For example, in Chrome you can access the cookie settings via the Settings - Advanced - Web Settings - Cookies buttons. You can also access the settings immediately by entering the address chrome://settings/content/cookies in the address line. Here you can permit or forbid the storage of the mentioned data, enable the blocking of third-party cookies, display all stored cookies or delete them individually or completely.

Use anonymous browser mode

If you do not want cookies to be stored in the memory of your computer or mobile phone when you visit a specific website, we recommend using anonymous or also incognito mode. In incognito mode, the cookies are enabled, but at the moment you close the browser window, they are deleted immediately. During the searching in incognito mode, you don't have to worry about information about the sites you visit being used to personalize the advertisements. For example, if you search for a new laptop in incognito mode, it certainly won't appear on social networks or other advertising spaces.

Cookies are useful and make it easier for us to work on the Internet. Who would like to constantly enter login details on popular portals or still search for already discovered products in online stores? There are situations where storing cookies can be annoying. The simplest solution is to use the anonymous mode, thanks to which temporary files are lost when we close the browser window. We will not leave any traces behind.

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