Understanding Cookies


The cookie checker site is used to identify if your browser is configured for cookies. It’s a page which tries to create a cookie followed by a report. Enabling cookies and deleting cookies websites describe how cookies are enabled and disabled respectively. To locate a cookie on your computer, find a small lookup table with data values. For instance (Country, France) (President, Macron). The code on the computer or web server reads the cookie which allows data to be retrieved and utilized in customization of web pages.



Immediately a new page is loaded, data is written to a cookie. For instance, after pressing the submit button the page handling the data is responsible for recording values in a particular cookie. The writing operation fails when the user disables the cookies. Web sites which rely on the cookie have the option of taking a default action or prompting the user to re-enter information which would have been stored in the cookie.


Types of Cookies

Session cookies or transient cookies are those who are erased when you close the web browser. These type of cookies are stored in the temporary memory and lost when the browser is closed. These cookies don’t collect information in your computer. They store information regarding session identification without making any reference to the user. Persistent cookies or permanent cookies are those which are stored on your hard drive until the expiry date or deletion. These cookies are used to collect information about the user like user preference of web responsiveness for a particular website.

Secure cookies are transmitted over an encrypted connection. They are less likely to be exposed to theft. Security is enabled by adding a secure log to the cookie. Zombie cookies are those which are automatically recreated after deletion. This is enabled by storing cookie information in multiple locations. A first party cookie has a domain attribute which matches the domain found on the web page. On the other hand, a third party cookie belongs to a different domain when compared to one shown in the address bar.

Uses of Cookies

They are used to carry information from one web section to another or within the website. This prevents overloading the server with a lot of storage. Storing data on the web server without cookies will make it hard to retrieve users information without demanding a login for each website. Cookies are used to identify users to provide access to more information when a large amount of data is stored. For instance, you can visit a website and use a username and data to log in. The former is stored and used to provide information for the latter.

Longevity and Accessibility

The expiry date of a cookie is set during the process of creating a cookie. When the current window of the web browser is closed, the cookie is automatically destroyed. However, it can be made to last longer after closure. Visibility of a cookie is set using its root domain. Any URL belonging to that root can be used to access the cookie. For instance setting a root to aboutcookies.com the cookie will be available to aboutcookies.com. Rooting is used to enhance communication between similar web pages. Rooting is impossible for top level domains like .com because they allow global access to the cookie. Cookies are naturally visible to all paths in the domains, but they can be restricted to a specific path at the point of creation.


Commercial websites have a tendency of embedding advertising material which acts as a third party website. Adverts have the potential of storing cookies for these third party websites. Information includes viewed products, visited pages and site names. Visiting series of websites with similar ads allows the third party website to track users browsing history. This allows them to come up with more effective content relevant to the user. But to an extent, this tracking is like infringing users privacy.