What is a Cookie?

A cookie is a small bit of data. It is also known by other names such as a browser cookie or even a web cookie. Each time you visit a website, the website may or may not send your computer a cookie. A cookie is a small bit of data that is stored on your computer via the web browser. What the cookie does is it reminds the website that gave you the cookie, what you did when you last visited the website.

Are Cookies bad?

In short, no, but they can be bad in a certain sense. What cookies do is store the actions that you take when you visit a webpage. Not a bad thing is they help your computer interact with the webpage. The bad part comes when consumers receive cookies that are not from or for the website that you just visited. These are called third party cookies, and they are designed to track your actions on the Internet over a long period of time. These are cookies that are employed by marketing companies that use the data to either send you specific ads or to spot trends on the Internet. Another name for third party cookies is Tracking Cookies. The bad part is that these cookies track your actions without your permission. In other words, you may not know that the cookie has even been installed on your web browser.

Cookies are not capable of infecting your computer with a virus nor are they able to transmit malware, so in that sense they are not dangerous. Cookies have a variety of uses, and many of those uses are very beneficial to consumers. Authentication cookies are used to check whether or not a computer or a use is logged into a website. This is handy because sometimes two people in the same household may have an online account with the same website. The authentication cookie can help determine which account is logged into the website.

In short, a Cookie is a small piece of data that is stored on your web browser. It is issued by a specific website that you visit, and each website likely has its own cookie. Cookies are not capable of spreading internet diseases such as a virus or malware, but they can be akin to spyware. Most cookies are beneficial, but not all cookies are your best friend.

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