Yesterday you searched for a pair of sports shoes on some random website ……..
Today your Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are flooded with advertisements related to the same pair of sports shoes.
This is where Cookies come into action.
COOKIES ARE NOTHING BUT VIRTUAL SPIES
A cookie is a small bit of information that a website stores on your computer. We all see the ‘Allow Cookies? ‘ message. This option now appears on almost all websites.
Cookies are small data packets which web pages load onto the browser for a whole range of reasons. Every time you return to the same URL, the computer sends back this data packet of information to the server, which detects that you have returned to the page.
Usually, a cookie is designed to remember and tell a website some useful information about you.
Are there different kinds of cookies?
These are some commonly known types of cookies.
- Non — Persistent Cookie : It is a cookie that lasts only as long as your session on the website and expires as soon as you leave the site. It is used to facilitate your activity within that site.
- Persistent Cookie : It is so called because it persists beyond the life of your session and may live for months or years. A persistent cookie is created in order to recognize a user when they return to the website.
- Flash Cookie : These cookies are small flash files such as video clips or gifts stored on a users computer by websites. Unlike other cookies , Flash cookies cannot be deleted by any mechanism from the browser level
When you access your Email account or Facebook profile, it is cookies that allow your username and password to be saved, so the next time you won’t have to enter them again.
But apart from storing this essential data, webmasters can use these tools for monitoring the activity of Internet users.
Cookies often collect information about your Internet habits, the pages you visit frequently, topics of your interest. Now the issue is …….
This information which is stored with the help of cookies is at times shared with data analysis firms or those that design targeted marketing campaigns.
Even though cookies are safe and won’t usually infect your computer with malware, it is not always clear in whose hands the collected data ends up or where it is stored.
If, say an advertisement for a food product appears on your screen after you visit a restaurant page, don’t be too surprised. This whole plot is done with the help of cookies.
Risks associated with cookies :
- Cross Site Request Forgery Attack (XSRF)
- Session Fixation
- Cross Site Scripting
- Cookie Tossing Attack
- Cookie Overflow Attack
To learn about the risks associated with cookies stay tunned to my next blog.
Your suggestions are always welcomed.
- Happy Learning