Are cookies good or bad, and should you delete them? Cookies are a term for a packet of data that a computer receives, then sends back without changing or altering it. Whenever you enter a new website, a cookie notification message can sometimes appear asking you to accept or decline cookies. It is important to understand why this happens and how to protect yourself online.
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Are Cookies Good or Bad?
First of all, we need to talk about whether cookies are good or bad. If they are good, how can cookies help make our website experience better? How can cookies invade our privacy and leak our information? If they are bad, how can cookies be deleted?
Pros of Cookies
Cons of Cookies
While cookies make your internet browsing more convenient, there are also many dangers that come with it. One of the biggest problems with cookies is that they can be used to track you. Based on whatever advertisements that appear on that website, your cookies can track what you like and provide you with similar ads. A problem with tracking cookies is the lack of privacy. Even though cookies are not supposed to collect personal information, these problems cannot be completely avoided. The concern over privacy is so important that Mozilla has blocked them on Firefox, and Google has said they will be taking cookies completely out of Chrome browsers. Additionally, these cookies can also be deleted to avoid privacy leaks.
Types of Cookies
Internet cookies are split into different types to keep track of different user activities. The three most commonly used types of cookies are session cookies, stored cookies, and third-party cookies.
Session cookies are unique in the way that they only operate whenever you are currently on the web browsing session. Otherwise, the cookies are deleted when you leave the website. They are temporary cookies stored in your memory folder that do not collect your personal information. Session cookies are usually used on online shopping sites where all pages are connected through these cookies. Additionally, these cookies are only used for the purpose of navigating that website and do not affect your overall browsing.
Stored cookies are used to track your online preferences. They are the cookies that collect information related to your identifications such as username, password, and more. Your information is stored with these cookies so the next time you visit the same website, you do not have to refill the same information. These cookies are usually to improve your user experience, but after some time these cookies will expire. It is important to be careful not to input too much data considering that some information can be hacked.
Finally, third-party cookies are best known as tracking cookies. These cookies collect your data based on what you do online and reflect it in future visits. These are also the dangerous cookies that pass or sell your information to advertisers through the websites that create their cookies. While these are not passwords and usernames, these cookies still remember your interest and search history. This is why many people see advertisements that are specifically geared towards them.
Should I Delete Cookies?
Additionally, while the website you visit might not use your personal information, those websites could be potentially hacked, and your information could be leaked. A way hackers do this is to redirect you with links on your intended websites. They redirect you to inappropriate sites and steal all of your information through your cookies. One way to solve this problem is to delete your cookies and another is to get safe browsing tools. Since not everyone knows how to delete cookies, an alternative way to keep your data safe is to use search engines that do not track you. For instance, DuckDuckGo is a search engine that keeps your data private, does not store it, and does not track you.
How to Delete Cookies
On each web interface, there are different steps for removing and deleting cookies. If you choose to delete them, it is pretty simple.
How to Delete Cookies: Chrome
- Go to the Browser Toolbar on the Chrome Menu.
- Select Tools.
- Choose Clear Browsing Data.
- In the message that appears, check the boxes for the type of information that you wish to remove.
- With the menu to select the amount of data, you want to delete, click the beginning of time to delete everything.
- Select Clear Browsing Data.
How to Delete Cookies: Safari
- Once you open Safari, go to Empty Cache.
- Select Empty and reload the page.
- When you view the website, choose View, then Reload Page.
- Select the Reload (curve arrow) Button in the address bar.
When you reload the page, you will always see the latest version of the page while avoiding the cache. Now you are officially ready to delete the cookies.
- Go to Safari Preference and select Privacy.
- Click Details.
- Select the websites you want cookies to be removed from, click Remove or Remove All.
- When finished, select Done.
How to Delete Cookies: Internet Explorer
- Look at the right side of the browser and select the Gear Icon (Tools Icon).
- Go to Safety and to Delete Browsing History.
If the Menu bar is disabled, another way to access this is through “Tools”.
- When the Delete Browsing History window shows up, uncheck all the options but the one called Temporary Internet files and website files.
- Select Delete.
- After the window disappears, your mouse icon might glitch for a moment.
- Once your cursor returns to normal, the “finished deleting‘ message will appear and you are done.
How to Delete Cookies: Firefox
- Once you open Mozilla Firefox, select the menu button and click Options.
- Select the Clear Now button.
- Once the Clear Recent History window disappears, all the caches from your web browsing activities will be deleted.
Here is how you would delete cookies for a single site:
- Open the Menu and select Preference.
- Click the Privacy Panel.
- Change Firefox will: to Use Custom settings for history.
- Select Show Cookies and the Cookies window will appear.
- In Search: type the site’s name where you want to delete your cookies and those cookies will appear.
- Choose the cookies in the list you want to remove.
- Select Remove Cookie.
- Close the window.
Deleting Cookies and You
Now that you know what cookies are, it is time to decide what you will do with this information. Are you ready to delete all cookies to protect your data? Is your security more important to you, or do you want to have a better browsing experience? In this age of the internet, it is important to value somethings over others. Cookies and deleting cookies are choices everyone makes and it’s up to you to do what you want. Continue to increase your awareness of your internet securities and how cookies impact that. Other than deleting cookies to protect yourself online, you can also download VPNs or find safer browsers. Reading more about the impacts of cookies will help you more with your privacy and online experience.
- Is it a good idea to remove all cookies?
- Can deleting cookies cause problems?
- How do you delete cookies?
- What are the different types of cookies?
- Can cookies get hacked?