What are Website Cookies?

What are website cookies?

Cookies make us happy. There is a certain satisfaction derived from eating a cookie. We’re not talking about those types of cookies, though.

We spend countless hours scrolling through websites, and often as of late, notifications appear asking if we accept all cookies. Today’s article is about HTTP cookies, what they are, and why they matter.

What is a cookie?

In the context of browsing the internet, a cookie is a small piece of data that is stored on your computer. This data allows websites to remember things about you, such as your preferences or login information. Cookies are used on all websites today, and they are generally considered safe. However, there have been some concerns raised about cookies and privacy.

Why do cookies matter?

Cookies matter because they can be used to collect data about you without your knowledge or consent. This data can then be used for marketing purposes or even sold to third parties. Additionally, cookies can track your online activity, which raises privacy concerns.

Is blocking cookies a good idea?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Blocking cookies may be a good idea if you are concerned about your privacy. However, it is important to remember that cookies are considered safe and are used on all websites today. Additionally, blocking cookies may disable some website features or prevent you from accessing certain websites.

What can you do about cookies?

If you are concerned about cookies and privacy, you can do a few things.

First, you can disable cookies in your web browser. This will prevent websites from storing any data on your computer. However, this may also disable some website features or prevent you from accessing certain websites.

Second, you can delete cookies that have already been stored on your computer. This will remove any data that has been collected about you without your consent. Finally, you can use a web browser extension or plugin that blocks cookies. This will prevent websites from storing data on your computer but will not prevent them from collecting data about you.

Users can control how cookies are used on their devices by changing their browser settings. Most browsers will allow cookies to be blocked, and some browsers will also allow users to delete cookies that have already been placed on their device. 

Where are cookies stored?

Cookies are typically stored on your computer’s hard drive in your ‘cookies’ folder. Check your browser’s help menu to learn how to access this folder and delete cookies.

Should I accept cookies from websites?

It is up to you whether to accept cookies from websites. If you do not want cookies to be stored on your computer, you can set your browser to refuse cookies. However, this may limit your ability to use some features of websites.

Can cookies track you?

Cookies cannot collect personal information about you unless you provide it to the website. However, cookies may be able to track your browsing habits.

Are cookies safe?

Yes. Cookies are text files that cannot execute code or deliver viruses. However, some malicious websites may try to set illegitimate cookies to track users or serve ads. You can protect yourself by using anti-virus software and only visiting trusted websites.

In general, cookies are safe and beneficial. They make your online experience easier by saving browsing information. However, you should exercise caution and only visit trusted websites. You can also delete cookies through your browser settings.

Why do I have to accept cookies on every website?

Every website is different and may use cookies for various purposes. For example, some sites use cookies to keep you signed in, while others use them to remember your preferences.

To protect your privacy, your browser only allows websites to access the cookies they have set, not those set by other sites. This means that you must accept cookies on every site you visit.

You can also set your browser to refuse all cookies, but this may limit your ability to use some features of websites.

Data Privacy and You

Your data privacy depends on where you live. Here are links to personal privacy legislation based on where you live.

Your data privacy depends on where you live. Here are links to personal privacy legislation based on where you live.

European Union

The EU has set the standard for privacy laws online. Here is the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). Do you run an eCommerce business based in North America, selling to customers in Europe? You will want to get up to speed on this if you are not already.

Canada

The Canadian Government takes data privacy quite seriously; here is the legislation.

California

California leads the states in privacy law. Here is the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

United States

While the USA does not have a full version of the GDPR that Europe does, here is an excellent article from Forbes

Deleting Cookies

If you’re not comfortable with cookies, here is a quick guide on deleting cookies from most major browsers. 

 How to delete cookies?

If you want to delete cookies from your computer, you can do so through your browser settings. Most browsers have a ‘cookies’ folder where all cookies are stored. To access this folder, check your browser’s help menu. From there, you can delete any unwanted cookies.

Delete Cookies from Chrome

To delete cookies in Chrome, go to Settings > Advanced > Content Settings > Cookies. From there, you can delete all cookies or select which cookies you want to keep.

Delete Cookies from Safari

To delete cookies in Safari, go to Preferences > Privacy. From there, you can choose to remove all cookies or select which cookies you want to keep.

Delete Cookies from Firefox

To delete cookies in Firefox, go to Tools > Options > Privacy. From there, you can choose to remove all cookies or select which cookies you want to keep.

Delete Cookies from Internet Explorer

To delete cookies in Internet Explorer, go to Tools > Internet Options > General tab. Click on the ‘Delete’ button under the ‘Browsing history’ section. From there, you can choose to delete all cookies or select which cookies you want to keep.

Delete Cookies from Opera

To delete cookies in Opera, go to Settings > Preferences > Advanced > Cookies. From there, you can delete all cookies or select which cookies you want to keep.

Delete cookies from Microsoft Edge

To delete cookies in Microsoft Edge, go to Settings > Advanced > Cookies. From there, you can delete all cookies or select which cookies you want to keep.

Delete cookies from Brave

To delete cookies in Brave, go to Settings > Advanced > Cookies. From there, you can delete all cookies or select which cookies you want to keep.

As you can see, deleting cookies is a pretty straightforward process. Simply access your browser’s settings and find the ‘cookies’ folder. From there, you can delete all cookies or select which cookies you want to keep. So next time you’re concerned about your privacy, don’t forget to clear out your cookies!

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