Cookies, In a Nutshell.

asos

You’ve probably seen these pop up before. Most sites nowadays use cookies and unless you say otherwise, will take your continued browsing as consent to their use of cookies.
I’m guilty of agreeing to every ‘terms and conditions’ just to avoid any delays or restrictions to purchasing an item.

But what exactly am I setting myself up for, by allowing cookies?

Cookies are a tool for remembering you as a person. When you use a website that has cookies, you’re allowing the website/third-party companies to monitor your browsing activity. Every action including items you’ve viewed, an article you’ve read, posts you’ve liked will all be collected as data. By keeping this record of you, companies will be able to enhance your user experience and/or promote their products specified to your needs on their website.

PROS: REGULAR COOKIES are usually helpful

  • Regular cookies will store information such as your preferred language, holiday destination, music, read articles etc.
  • The adverts on websites you visit will most likely be catered to your interests. This includes websites you’ve never visited before.
  • If you close your browser by accident, the site will remember the item/s that you viewed last.

 

cookie

 

Here is an outline of the general uses of regular cookies under FOUR headings:

  • Operationally necessary
  • Functionality related
  • Performance related
  • Advertising related

 

OPERATIONALLY NECESSARY

To identify irregular site behaviour, prevent fraudulent activity and improve security, or that allow you to make use of our functions such as shopping carts, saved search, or similar functions

FUNCTIONALITY RELATED

Identifying you when you sign in, keeping track of your specified preferences, interests, or past items viewed so that we may enhance the presentation of content on our sites

PERFORMANCE RELATED

To understand how visitors use websites, determine if you have interacted with the website’s messaging, determine whether you have viewed an item or link, or to improve website content, applications, services, or tools

ADVERTISING/TARGETING RELATED

First-party or third-party cookies may be used to deliver content, including ads relevant to your interests, on the sites you’re on or on third party sites. And whether you have clicked on an advertisement

If you limit the usage of cookies on websites (sometimes you’re not given a choice if you choose to use their website’s service!)

  • You’ll have to sign in manually every time you visit regularly visited websites
  • Your shopping cart will not have the items you saved on your last visit
  • You will still see adverts when you’re surfing the web but the adverts may not be as relevant to you.

 

CONS: THE SUPERCOOKIES are controversial

  • Supercookies are the pernicious types of cookies. Supercookies allow third-party advertisers and websites to assemble a deep, permanent profile of visitors’ web browsing habits without their consent. Websites and third-parties can also change and share more information than you bargained for, such as sharing emails and phone numbers. Supercookies are generally more difficult for users to detect and remove from their devices because they cannot be deleted in the same fashion as regular cookies. Whilst regular cookies are stored locally on a device after being downloaded from websites, Supercookies aren’t cookies at all.

 

 

So in conclusion, there’s not a lot you can do about Supercookies, Verizon was fined $1.35 million earlier this year by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over Supercookie tracking. Whereas if you really wanted to, you can stop the Regular Cookies by going to your Internet browser settings.

 

Lucidica provides London based IT support for businesses