Lately, you all must have heard the very popular jargon ‘cookies’, and must have been relatively surprised to see the pooping up of your history of surfing as soon as you turn on the computer. I also find it quite annoying as there is a fear of my browsing history tracked and stored up by the third party. Hence, I thought to bring insight on the real nature of cookies and how easily by just following four steps can help to create barricades on your access to internet so that no third party can save or retrieve your browsing details.
Cookies though not harmful but they can be a privacy issue. Cookies are actually small files which are stored on a user’s computer. They are designed to hold a modest amount of data specific to a particular client and website and can be accessed either by the web server or at the client / Advertiser computer. This allows the server to deliver a page tailored to a particular user, or the page itself can contain some script which is aware of the data in the cookie and so is able to carry information from one visit to the website (or related site) to the next.
Each cookie is effectively a small lookup table containing pairs of (key, data) values – for example (first name, John) (last name, Smith). Once the cookie has been read by the code on the server or client computer, the data can be retrieved and used to customise the web page appropriately. Writing data to a cookie is usually done when a new webpage is loaded – for example, after a ‘submit’ button is pressed the data handling page would be responsible for storing the values in a cookie. If the user has elected to disable cookies then the write operation will fail, and subsequent sites which rely on the cookie will either have to take a default action or prompt the user to re-enter the information that would have been stored in the cookie.
Cookies are a convenient way to carry information from one session on a website to another, or between sessions on related websites, without having to burden a server machine with massive amounts of data storage. Storing the data on the server without using cookies would also be problematic because it would be difficult to retrieve a particular user’s information without requiring a login on each visit to the website.
If there is a large amount of information to store, then a cookie can simply be used as a means to identify a given user so that further related information can be looked upon a server-side database. For example, the first time a user visits a site they may choose a username which is stored in the cookie, and then provide data such as password, name, address, preferred font size, page layout, etc. – this information would all be stored on the database using the username as a key. Subsequently when the site is revisited the server will read the cookie to find the username, and then retrieve all the user’s information from the database without it having to be re-entered.
There is a lot of concern about privacy and security on the internet. Cookies do not in themselves present a threat to privacy since they can only be used to store information that the user has volunteered or that the web server already has. Whilst it is possible that this information could be made available to specific third-party websites, this is no worse than storing it in a central database. If you are concerned that the information you provide to a web server will not be treated as confidential then you should question whether you actually need to provide that information at all.
Just follow this process and be free from popping up cookies!
- In Internet Explorer, select the Safety button, and then select Delete Browsing History.
- Select the check box next to Cookies.
- Select the Preserve Favorites website data check box if you don’t want to delete the cookies associated with websites in your Favorites list.
- Select Delete or
Try it once today and you would yourself get rid of the cookies. If you have any other questions, please connect with me here.