This depends on the type of cookies. Others may aid you in gaining weight and others, well, you might give out sensitive information as soon as you accept them. Although one should not be worried about cookies, extra caution should be taken when dealing with them especially when dealing with matters that involve cybersecurity. If you are aiming to be anonymous, always encrypt your footprint on the internet by using one of our recommended vpns.
What are cookies
In matters concerning the internet, cookies are text files provided by the server which hosts the website you might be browsing. These cookies provide information about your browsing behavior mainly on your personal preferences. With this info, cookies customize your browsing experience, and more often they aim to make your browsing efficient. Other cookies process your browsing behavior, and that’s why if you search for, i.e., cars, you will get ads about cars every time to surf the internet on that particular device.
Are cookies harmful?
Cookies are harmless, and they cannot be detected by anti-virus software as they are just data stored on your device. What makes them harmful is the way the sites associated with the cookies decide on how to use them. If they use them for a good purpose, you don’t have to worry; the problem comes when they have a malicious intention. Other cookies may also be overly intrusive, and that’s where a line is drawn and this terms cookies to be harmful.
Types of cookies
There are three major types of cookies which are in use today:
- Permanent cookies: these are cookies that stay on your device for a long time. They are used to remember your log in details and passwords so that you don’t have to retype your credentials every time you visit the site.
- Session cookies: these are cookies that expire upon closing your browser. E-commerce sites use most of them.
- Third-party cookies: as the name suggests, these are cookies that are installed by third parties and are usually used for collecting certain information, e., demographics and even research.
Other cookies include;
- Supercookies: they are not generally referred to as cookies as they are not stored in browsers. They are identifiers used by a service provider and usually inserted into the HTTP headers.
Cookies need to be controlled when they have become intrusive or when you suspect your privacy is at risk. Controlling cookies involve different ways as discussed below.
- Delete cookies: to erase your cookies; you first need to find where they are located/stored on your device. Then delete them manually.
- Block cookies: if you don’t want to delete cookies, make sure they are not stored in the first place, this is possible by blocking them. All you need to do is to configure your browser not to accept cookies.
- Configure your browsers warning system: this is helpful as your browser will alert you each time a website wants to install cookies on your device. This gives you the freedom of choosing what cookies to keep and the ones you don’t want.
- Use specialized software: if you don’t want to go through the above process, you can use a special program that lets you set what type of cookies you want.
But before you erase all of your cookies, remember that your favorite sites may not recognize you, and you may need to log in again. If you suspect that cookies stored on your device are harmful and need to be controlled but you don’t have a software, here is a how to.
Mac uses the Safari browsers, and it offers a couple of options on how you can deal with cookies. You can clear cookies alongside with your browsing. Go to History > Clear History then the period of browsing history you want to clear. Alternatively, you can only clear cookies and other web data. Go to Preferences > Privacy > Manage Website Data. Then select one or more websites and proceed to Remove or Remove All. Also, under privacy, you can control and set what cookies can be allowed by choosing the option ‘Change which cookies and website data are accepted.’
On Edge, go to Settings > Advanced settings > View advanced settings. Under this setting, you will get three options: block, don’t block or block only third-party cookies. If you want to delete cookies, open settings> choose what to clear and then clear cookies and other web related data.
open Menu and go to Settings > Show advanced settings and then under Privacy and Security select Content settings > Cookies.
Click on the Menu > Options > Privacy and then under History click Use custom settings… then Show Cookies.