Let's talk about cookies
Cookies are small files stored on computers and gadgets, with the help of which the site remembers information about user visits.
What are cookies?
Simply put, when a user performs some action on the site, for example, adds an item to the cart or enters a username and password to log in to the account, the server records this information in cookies and sends it to the browser along with the page. These and other information about various actions are collected in a text document cookies.txt .
Thanks to cookies, each time you visit a particular resource, you do not need to enter registration data — the browser loads them independently. Therefore, the load on the server does not increase and the speed of opening web pages increases.
Cookies themselves are not dangerous — they are ordinary text files. They cannot run any processes on the computer and somehow affect the operation of the operating system.
At the same time, cookies, in particular, are able to remember:
- at what time and from what device did the person access the page;
- user preferences (e.g. language, currency, or font size);
- products that were viewed or added to the cart, even if the user temporarily left the online store;
- the text that we entered on the site before;
- user's IP address and location;
- date and time of the site visit;
- operating system and browser version;
- clicks and transitions.
- customize the user's advertising preferences, including personalizing and displaying advertisements on external sites;
- provide the user with the appropriate functions and content (for example, for the YouTube Music service, data on the volume parameters, repeat mode and autoplay are stored);
- protect personal data;
- count the number of page visits;
- identify and fix problems in the operation of the site;
- prevent fraud, spam and other abuses;
- collect data for analytics, which the owners of services and sites can use to determine how users interact with them.
In most modern browsers, users can control how cookies are used on individual sites, as well as delete them. Over time, cookies accumulate and can take up gigabytes on your hard drive. Therefore, once every few months it is useful to delete them at least for those sites that are rarely visited. Disabling cookies altogether is not a good idea. It is more practical to clean cookies manually, but after that you will have to re-configure the personal parameters of the sites and log in to your accounts.
Some cookies may remain on the computer for several months, and some are deleted at the end of the session. If you do not visit any social network for a long time, the user will have to pass authorization, since the saved files with the login and password will be automatically cleared by this time.
Types of cookies
There are two main types of cookies:
session (temporary) — data about pages viewed, records of order forms and other information that allows customers to simplify their work with the site. They exist only during the period of time when the user is on the site, and are deleted immediately after the termination of the session, that is, after the tab closes. After closing the tab, temporary files are automatically deleted;
permanent — store long-term information for several weeks or months, for example, login from an account. They are not deleted after the end of interaction with the site.
Cookies are a powerful source of analytical information that advertisers need. Based on personal preferences and information about activity, individual advertising will be generated on the sites. That is, different products will be offered to different visitors in ad blocks on the same site. Clothes to some, and technology to the other. In fact, site owners simply insert the code of one or another intermediary in their ad blocks.
In the digital environment, these tiny text files help both users and marketers. With their help, experts analyze the number of site visitors, their actions and traffic sources. Cookies are very convenient for these purposes: data is collected automatically, their structure is simple and does not require serious manipulation. Visitors always agree to cookies voluntarily, so they have the right to refuse them at any time.
When visiting most sites, you can see a pop-up warning window about the collection of cookies or a request to allow the collection of this data. This procedure became mandatory after the tightening of the law on cookies.