What Internet Cookies Are and How They Work

When the word cookie is mentioned your taste buds get rocky. A picture suddenly appears in your imagination of some tasty edibles perfectly placed on the dining table with a cup of your favorite blend of coffee. On the contrary, when the same word appears on your browser you hardly have a clue of what it means. Studies show 80% of internet users accept cookie requests from websites without prior knowledge of what they are consenting to.

When it comes to browsing, a cookie is a file usually in .txt format which is placed in your computer or smartphone after you accept the ‘cookie website to the user agreement’. By agreeing you give full access to the website to place a cookie or cookies into your device. Then that specific web server uses the cookie to recognize your device and user preferences the next time you access that website.

There are two types of cookies, a single session, and a multi-session. A single-session cookie is temporarily used when the user is on a current session and is deleted after the browsing period. Usually, this type of cookie is provided automatically to enable a good browsing experience to the user.
Multi-session cookies are stored in your pc or device. They remain there and are used by websites to access the previously recorded information. They are permanently stored in your device memory unless you delete them from your browser folders or they reach their period of expiry.

Although cookies ensure a smooth browsing experience you should be cautious before accepting a request. Some websites use cookies to access sites that you visit which poses a risk to your privacy. Below is an illustration of how cookies work.


Joseph Ngaruiya

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