What do Browser Cookies do?

We’ve all come across the term ‘cookies’ while browsing the internet, and while we love the delicious munch snack, it has a completely different meaning in the internet world.

You may have noticed that ads for things you recently looked up or searched for appearing on Facebook and other websites. And while you may have overlooked this, believing it to be a fortunate coincidence, it isn’t. This is made possible by cookies.

You might be wondering why these cookies decide to keep track of your personal search history and use it to entice you to make a purchase. Because you agreed to it, of course! When you open a website, you’ll see a popup that says this site uses cookies, and if you click ‘okay,’ you’re agreeing to them storing your data in their database. And, while cookies may have made life easier for ad agencies by allowing them to target better audiences with their ads, cookies were not designed to do so.

However, as websites and devices evolved and became more dynamic, the file sizes containing cookie data grew as well. As a result, websites decided to save cookie data on their servers, and the cookie file on the PC would have a unique ID that would allow the sites to link the data. This allowed websites to store far more information than a standard cookie file could.

So now, when you go to Facebook and see one of the Amazon India products you’ve been looking for in the advertisement box, you’ll know you’ve found it. It’s stored in Amazon India’s cookie database, and it can read your unique ID.

Is Cookies Bad?

A cookie, like a hammer, is a tool. It can either be used to make beautiful furniture more quickly or to kill someone by smashing their head. They’re meant to be used for good, but they can also be used for bad. It is the people who use them who bear responsibility.

While cookies may appear to be a significant intrusion into your privacy, the entire process is encrypted between you and the website that saves it. Even the advertisements that you see are displayed because your computer’s unique cookie ID is recognized. You won’t get those ‘personalized’ ads anymore if you clear the cookies from your device.

If you’re worried about whether it’s good or bad, it’s entirely up to the website that’s storing your cookie data to decide what to store and what it plans to do with it.


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