STANDARD USES FOR BROWSER COOKIES
Website servers set cookies to help authenticate the user if the user logs in to a secure area of the website. Login information is stored in a cookie so the user can enter and leave the website without having to re-enter the same authentication information over and over. Session Cookies are also used by the server to store information about user page activities so users can easily pick up where they left off on the server’s pages. By default, web pages really don’t have any ‘memory’. Cookies tell the server what pages to show the user so the user doesn’t have to remember or start navigating the site all over again. Cookies act as a sort of “bookmark” within the site. Similarly, cookies can store ordering information needed to make shopping carts work instead of forcing the user to remember all the items the user put in the shopping cart. Persistent or tracking Cookies are also employed to store user preferences. Many websites allow the user to customize how information is presented through site layouts or themes. These changes make the site easier to navigate and/or lets user leave a part of the user’s “personality” at the site. For Information on session and persistent and tracking cookies.
Advantages of cookies are
- Remembering the details as provided by the user.
- Remembering user preferences.
- Helping improve the website.
- Cookies can be deleted by the visitor.
- Cookies can be blocked by changing browser setting.
- Cookies cannot carry any threat to the visitor’s device.
COOKIE SECURITY AND PRIVACY ISSUES
OTHER COOKIE-BASED THREATS
Since identity protection is highly valued and is every internet users right, it pays to be aware of what threat cookies can pose. As cookies are transmitted back and forth between a browser and website, if an attacker or unauthorized person gets in between the data transmission, the sensitive cookie information can be intercepted. Although relatively rare, this can happen if the browser is connecting to the server using an unencrypted network like a non-secured Wi-Fi channel. Internet security is only attainable if you regularly use an anti-virus protection program. Other cookie-based attacks involve exploiting faulty cookie-setting systems on servers. If a website doesn’t require browsers to use encrypted channels only, attackers can use this vulnerability to trick browsers into sending sensitive information over insecure channels. The attackers then siphon off the sensitive data for unauthorized access purposes.
HOW TO DELETE AND BLOCK COOKIES