What are Cookies and What Do They Do?

So you like cookies? Everyone does, but the cookies I am talking about today are way different and can be scary to people who don’t know anything about them, I am here today to try to explain and calm the game a little bit.

So what is a cookie? Basically, a cookie is a small file containing data about the user who just entered the website. It is totally legal and the even ask you when you get on the website if this is okay with you. The cookies allow them to not overcharge their web servers with data. From there, everything is normal, websites are just trying to save their servers and save time to the user. It is in no way affecting your privacy. You can access your different cookies in your web browser and delete them as you wish. Cookies also have a lifetime determined by the website it is coming from. Where it gets a little bit shady is when we are talking about tracking cookies.

Tracking cookies are exactly what the name is saying, they are taking the data stored in the cookie and they are tracking it. That is mostly when you go on Facebook after an intense online shopping session, you will see ads from the websites you were on a couple of minutes ago. They are taking the data from the websites you have visited or items you have shopped for and send them to some third party website that generates ads that suits your interests better. The shady part is that instead of sharing that data, some website will sell it and make money off your back.

Cookies can be deactivated, in your browser. But in most cases they are harmless, my recommendation would be to leave them up, but keep track of your cookie list and make sure that before you accept that a website takes off data from you, you read their terms.

You can access your cookie list by going to your settings and then go under “Content Management” and then “All cookies and site data”.

Happy surfing!