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What are Website Cookies?2 min read

by TechABU
What are Website Cookies

Website Cookies?

Website cookies, commonly known as HTTP cookies, are essential for today’s Internet. Website cookies are necessary for website browsing since they allow site owners to provide users with a personalized and easy experience. These cookies allow websites to remember information about you, such as your logins, shopping carts, and other preferences.

Cookies, in general, are small text files containing data that websites transfer to your browser/device, such as login information, and are used to track and identify you. Websites use cookie consent banners to inform visitors about utilizing and collecting user data.

How are Website Cookies used?

When a user goes online to check the weather, the website or app will ask for their zip code. Because of website cookies, the user’s zip code will be remembered the next time they visit the website or app. There are, however, distinctions in the sorts of cookies utilized and the cookie compliance standards.

Where are Cookies Stored?

Cookies are saved by web browsers in a specific file on the user’s device. For example, the Google Chrome web browser saves all cookies in a file called “Cookies.” By opening developer tools, clicking on the “Application” tab, and then clicking “Cookies” on the left side menu, Chrome users can see the cookies saved by the browser.

Types of Cookies

The most distinguishing factor in cookies is between first-party and third-party cookies. While they track user behavior and serve similar functions, they are gathered and used differently.

First-Party Cookies

First-Party Cookies are saved directly by the website once a user visits the website. These cookies enable site owners to collect analytics data, remember language preferences, and provide other services that benefit users.

The following are some of the most relevant kinds of first-party cookies.

#1. Session Cookies

A session cookie is used to keep track of a user’s session on a website. Session cookies are removed when a user’s session expires, such as when they log out of their account or leave a website. Session cookies do not include an expiration date, indicating to the browser that they should be removed when the session ends.

#2. Authentication Cookies

Authentication cookies are created when a person signs in to an account using their browser and help maintain user sessions—associating user account information with a cookie-identifying string guarantees that sensitive data is provided to the right user sessions.

#3. Tracking Cookies

Tracking cookies are collected by tracking services. They keep track of user behavior, and the next time a user visits a website that utilizes that tracking service, the browser sends that information to the associated tracking service.

#4. Zombie Cookies

Zombie cookies, like the “zombies” of popular fiction, regenerate after being removed. Zombie cookies produce backup copies of themselves outside of the usual cookie storage place in a browser. They take advantage of these backups to make them reappear in a browser after they’ve been removed. Unscrupulous ad networks and even cyber attackers utilize zombie cookies sometimes.

Third-Party Cookies

Third-party cookies are set by websites (or domains) other than the one you’re browsing. These are often used for online advertising and are included on a website via a script or tag. Any site that runs the code from a third-party server can access a third-party cookie.

Also known as a persistent cookie, this type of cookie is intended to make your online experience more convenient and quicker. The webserver has assigned an expiration date to them. Persistent cookies, in essence, follow visitors as they navigate the website in order to determine what they enjoy and improve their experience. A Google Analytics cookie is the most common persistent cookie.

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