Internet cookies, what are they?

In order to unmask exactly what cookies are, it is important to first distinguish between a server computer and a client computer.

The server computer is the computer where the site we are visiting is hosted.
The client computer is the computer we are using to access the site.

It’s also important to know that every time we access a website, this link created is a new link for the purposes of the server computer.

In other words, in very simple terms, whenever our computer asks a server to show a page/website, this connection/request is always new and independent of previous connections.

This is one of the defining characteristics of the
protocol, which is behind the Internet.

In other words, the http protocol is stateless, it doesn’t maintain state, so the connection between the client computer and the computer is not maintained over time.

This way, every time you visit a website again, for the purposes of the computer server, it’s as if you’re there for the first time and you’re a complete stranger who’s never been there before.

So how do we solve this problem?

This is where cookies come in!

Let’s imagine the following scenario:

We go to an
international e-commerce
and abandon the site halfway through the process of buying a product.

Later, when we returned to the site, we were able to continue the process of buying the product we wanted, exactly where we were.

The site also remembers which browsing language you have chosen.

But how is this possible if the connections to the site’s server computer are stateless?

What actually happened when you visited the online shop for the first time was that the server sent a small file to your computer, which was stored in your web browser.

Thanks to this cookie, you can be recognized the next time you visit this same site by the server, and you won’t have to enter all your details again.

In short, cookies customize and speed up your web experience.

Advantages and disadvantages

On the one hand, we love cookies because they make browsing easier and allow us to be recognized much more quickly on different websites.

On the other hand, sometimes we may not like cookies that are used especially for sales or marketing purposes. In fact, certain cookies analyze our purchases or behavior, and the resulting information can then be analyzed and used as a marketing tool (e.g. Google Analytics).

One of the few ways this server computer remembers who we are and where we were, is through the use of cookies that this server computer has installed on our computer (more specifically in our browser) and thus lets us continue where we were.

Cookies are therefore packets of data sent by a website to the user’s browser when the user visits the website.

Cookies allow websites/servers to remember user information such as saved passwords, items added to the shopping cart in e-commerce stores, and more.
This makes navigation much easier and more efficient.

So each time the user visits the site again, the browser sends the cookie back to the server to notify the user of the history of activity on that site.

Types of Cookies

Session cookies: Expire when you close your browser (or if you have been inactive for too long). A good example of this use is when we’re on a sales website so that we can continue browsing without losing the products we’ve already put in the cart.

Permanent: These persist even after we close the browser.
These are used to remember your passwords and login so you don’t have to re-enter them every time you re-enter a website.

Another possible example is “reminding” the server of your preferred language for viewing the website.

Third Party Cookies: Unlike usual, these cookies do not originate from the website where the user is located.
Third-party cookies are created by other websites.
So the site the user is visiting contains content from a third-party site, such as advertisements, images, analytical tools, etc?

We are interested in your experience with cookies.

For example: what bothers you about cookies, do you have a cookie control tool?

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