Security & Vulnerabilities Tech Terms

Tech Tip : How Do Browser Cookies Work?

Tech Tip : How Do Browser Cookies Work?

Browser Cookies are commonly used on the internet.

If you’ve used the internet so well, you should be familiar with the term, Browser cookies. But not everyone understand what this piece of technology do and how it help us surf the web efficiently. This article is aimed to helped us fully understand why cookies are important part of the internet.

The world started paying attention to cookies in the early 21st century due to so many privacy concerns that raged the world. The European Union started enforcing websites to explain the use of cookies to website visitors, that is why you see popups like “Our website uses cookie…”. Nevertheless, cookies are very important browser features that can assist us in navigating the web easily, as they assist sites in providing better user experience to visitors. If you decide to switch off cookies on your browser, you won’t be able to log-in automatically to your favorite websites as cookies are used to store those log-in details on your device.

Browser cookies are good technologies, but increase in hacks  around the world has placed so many fair questions on the technology.

What are Browser Cookies?

Browser cookies

Cookies are small text files specific to browsers, that are usually stored on user’s computer. Cookies used in Firefox are unique and can’t be used for Chrome or IE. They are used to save important information about a visitor to a webpage, and to examine users behavior on the website.

Who said my browser needs to eat cookies to survive?

A lot of people nowadays prefer to access the internet in an anonymous, incognito or God mode. This is essentially to prevent hackers from stealing important documents and data from us when accessing the web.

The biggest disadvantages about cookies (biscuit) is that sometimes if they are not produced well, they tend turn to crumbs when you take a bite. This scenario is similar to browser cookies too as sometimes they are traceable and can be used by big companies to spy on our activities.

But the advantage of using browser cookies are greater, as they can be used to move information easily from one part of the website to another without stressing the server or your internet connectivity. If you are very attentive sometimes you might notice the first time you visit a website, it takes you about 1secs more for it to load compared to concurrent visits.

Every time the user goes back to the website, the cookies is retrieved by the browser and sent to the web server, which helps aid fast page load and usability.

So whats the Privacy noise on cookies all about?

Rise in IT has been exponential in the last few years, as hackers have found different techniques to use cookies to illegally steal important information and data. But cookies are NOT viruses as they can not self-execute or spread themselves like other known viruses.

But a user cookie in the wrong hand might be fatal, as they sometimes contain passwords, browsing history, financial records and other important information. Popular security companies always advise users to delete cookies at least every two weeks.

Because browser cookies can help hackers and big organizations track our online activities, it has been a big problem as it can be used to spy on us. Hackers are always trying to intercept the transfer of cookies during data transmission from the browser to the server.

This can happen if you decide to connect to an un-secure free WiFi that is not encrypted. Need to know why encryption is important? Read this fantastic article. If you want to be safe on the internet use regularly updated anti-virus as they can help to protect against these vulnerabilities.

Your Browser need to eat cookies, but make sure they are of top-quality.

Most top websites on the internet today make use of cookies, so they are un-aviodable. Deciding not to use cookies might lock you out of most of the biggest website on the web. So the most important thing to do is to make sure cookies don’t say long on your system. You can get guide to delete cookies, especially if you share your PC regularly.

 Another important step is to make sure your browser is always updated, this eliminates security vulnerabilities caused by outdated browsers. Many cookie-based exploits are based on exploiting older browsers’ security shortcomings.

Also published on Medium.

About the author

Lordsurh

To the outside world, I'm just an ordinary geek. But in secret, I work to make my world information-safe. In order to succeed, I must become someone else... I must become something else.