Cookies Are Ready!
If this article were about baking cookies, the biggest debate that would happen would be which type of cookie is your favorite. While that would be a fun, sweet, and tasty conversation, we’re actually talking about a lesser known type of cookie – computer cookies. We’ll just call them cookies for the rest of the article; we’ll also discuss why they really aren’t that big of a deal to have on your computer.
Cookies are simply small files on your computer that are made when you go to a website. The website stores certain pieces of data to help customize the site for you. For example, if you frequently log into a website and asked the site to “remember this computer” there would be a cookie with your username to save for the next time you access the page. Other cookies would hold information such as your name, user preferences, and other customizations so the website can be tailored for you.
There are also cookies that are called “tracking cookies” which are used for advertising. You may notice after searching for a particular product that you see an advertisement for it on a completely different website. That’s the tracking cookie doing it’s work for targeted advertising.
The biggest concern when cookies first came to light is privacy and security issues. These concerns can be addressed two-fold: first, websites can only use the cookies designated for that particular website. Second, if you don’t feel comfortable giving a website some information, then don’t! Cookies aren’t supposed to carry information such as social security, credit card, passwords or other vital data – but that doesn’t mean that it hasn’t happened before. It’s extremely rare in today’s internet to see such laziness and lack of concern for security, and typically gets caught and fixed very quickly.
Cookies can be deleted using programs such as CCleaner or even just having your web browser delete them. We do delete them out during Tune Ups as a maintenance cleanup although we don’t recommend deleting them on a regular basis just for ease of website use. They also don’t take up much space on your hard drive, even having thousands of cookies will only hold a minuscule footprint of overall data size.
Cookies are designed to make your web experience a little bit easier and better tailored for you. The information stored in them give nothing more than what you are willing to give to a website, and even then websites won’t store critical data in cookies. They certainly aren’t a big security concern, and in fact, if nothing else, are for convenience of web browsing.