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A Browser’s Question: Why Are They Called Cookies?

by Ace Damon
A Browser's Question Why Are They Called Cookies

What is a browser’s cookie?

Although the name may make you remember a famous candy, kind of cookie, know that browsing cookies have nothing to do with goodies.

Understand the concept, function and how to manage them in your browser.

Cookies are tiny text files placed on your computer by a web server when you view some websites online (not all websites create cookies).

They are used to store data about you and your preferences, so a Web server does not have to request this information, which can improve download time repeatedly.

Cookies are commonly used to store personal registration data, such as your name, address, shopping cart contents, the preferred layout of a web page, and so on.

Cookies make it easy for web servers to personalize information to meet your specific needs and preferences when you visit a site.


Why are they called cookies?

There are different explanations of why cookies are called “cookies.” Some people believe cookies are called “magic cookies,” which are part of UNIX, an operating system.

Many people believe that the name originates from the story of Hansel and Gretel, who were able to mark their trail through a dark forest loosening cookie crumbs behind them.

Are browser cookies dangerous?

The easiest answer is that cookies, by themselves, are completely harmless. However, some sites and search engines use them to track users’ Web surfing, collect highly personal information, and surreptitiously transfer this information to other sites without permission or notice.

That’s why we often hear about cookies in the news.

Can cookies be used for spying?

Cookies are plain text files, which can not run programs or tasks.

They also can not be used to view data on the hard drive or capture other information from your computer.

Also, cookies can only be accessed by the server that started them. This makes it impossible for a server to snoop on cookies set up by other servers, capturing sensitive parts of your personal information.


What Makes Cookies Controversial?

Although cookies can only be retrieved by the server that defined them, many online advertising companies attach cookies that contain a unique user ID for banner ads.

Many leading online ad companies run ads on thousands of different websites, so they can also retrieve their cookies from all of these sites. Although the site serving the ad cannot keep track of your progress across the web, the company that serves ads can.

This may sound disturbing, but tracking your progress online is not necessarily such a bad thing.

When crawling is used on a site, data can help site owners fine-tune their projects and enhance popular areas for more satisfying user experience.

Crawl data can also be used to provide users and site owners with more targeted information. They can also make recommendations on purchases, content or services to users, a feature that many users appreciate.

For example, one of Amazon.com’s most popular retail features is recommendations for new merchandise, based on your viewing and purchase history.

Should I disable Cookies on my browser?

This is a question that has different answers depending on how you want to use the web.

If you access sites that personalize your experience extensively, you will not be able to see much of it if you disable cookies or the first time you visit the page after deleting cookies.

Many websites use these plain text files to make your web browsing session as personalized and efficient as possible. Simply because it is a much better experience for the user not to have to keep entering the same information every time he hits a page.

If you disable cookies on your browser, you will not have the benefit of the time saved by these cookies, nor will you have a completely personalized experience.

But you can implement a partial stop on Web cookies by setting Web browsers to a high sensitivity level, providing a warning whenever a cookie is about to be set, and allowing you to accept or reject cookies.

However, since many websites use cookies these days, a partial ban will probably force you to spend more time accepting or rejecting cookies.

The bottom line is this: Cookies do not cause damage to your computer or your web surfing experience. There is only some harm when advertisers are not as ethical as they should be about the data stored in your cookies.

However, your personal and financial information will be completely secure, and cookies are not a security risk. The History of Cookies


Cookies were originally designed to make life easier for web users. Popular sites like Amazon, Google, and Facebook use them to deliver highly personalized personal pages that deliver content targeted to users.

Unfortunately, some websites and Internet advertisers unethically use cookies.

They can and collect sensitive personal information that can be used to create invasive ads concerning targeting.

Cookies offer some beneficial benefits, which make web browsing much better. On the other hand, you may be concerned that your privacy has the potential to be violated.

However, this is not something that Web users should necessarily worry about. Cookies are harmless.

How to manage cookies?

Internet Explorer Menu> Tools> Internet Options> Privacy> Settings. When you are finished making changes, click “OK”.

Google Chrome Menu> Settings> Show advanced settings> Privacy> Content settings> Enable or disable cookies.

Firefox Menu> Options> Privacy> Firefox must> Use my settings> Sites can set cookies. Click OK to close.

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