Categories of cookies
Session cookies – these are temporarily stored in the cookies folder of the web browser for the user to store until the user leaves the respective website or closes the browser window (eg when logging in / out of an account webmail or social networks).
Persistent cookies – these are stored on the hard drive of a computer or equipment (and generally depend on the default lifetime for the cookie). Persistent cookies also include those placed by a website other than the one the user is currently visiting – known as third-party cookies – which can be used anonymously for memorize a user’s interests so that the most relevant advertising for users is delivered.
What is the lifetime of a cookie?
Cookies are administered by webservers. The lifetime of a cookie can vary significantly, depending on the purpose for which it is placed. Some cookies are used exclusively for a single session (session cookies) and are no longer retained once the user has left the website and some cookies are retained and reused each time the user returns to that website (cookies permanent). However, cookies can be deleted by a user at any time via browser settings.
How are cookies used by this site?
A visit to this site may place cookies for the purpose of analyzing visitors.
Each time a user visits this site, the analytics software provided by a third party generates a user analysis cookie. This cookie tells us if you have visited this site before. The browser checks if you have this cookie, and if not, we will generate one, allowing it to monitor the unique users who visit us and how often they do it. As long as you are not registered on this site, the cookie cannot be used to identify individuals, but is used only for statistical purposes.
How do I change my cookie settings?
Why are cookies important for the Internet?
Cookies are the focal point of the efficient operation of the Internet, helping to generate a friendly browsing experience tailored to the preferences and interests of each user. Declining or disabling cookies may make some sites impossible to use.
Rejecting or disabling cookies does not mean that you will no longer receive online advertising – but only that it will no longer be able to take into account your preferences and interests, highlighted by your browsing behavior.
Examples of important uses of cookies (which do not require a user to authenticate through an account):
- Content and services tailored to user preferences – product and service categories.
- Offers tailored to the interests of users – password retention.
- Retention of child protection filters on Internet content (family mode options, safe search functions).
- Limit the frequency of ad serving – Limit the number of impressions of an ad for a particular user on a site.
- Providing more relevant advertising for the user.
- Measurement, optimization and analytics features – such as confirming a certain level of traffic on a website, what type of content is viewed and how a user gets to a website (eg through search engines, directly from other websites). Websites conduct these analyzes of their use to improve the sites for the benefit of users.
Security and privacy issues
Cookies are NOT viruses! They use plain text formats. They are not made up of pieces of code so they cannot be executed, nor can they auto-run. As a result, they cannot be duplicated or replicated on other networks to run or replicate. Because they cannot perform these functions, they cannot be considered viruses.
However, cookies may be used for negative purposes. Because it stores information about users’ preferences and browsing history, both on a particular site and on several other sites, cookies can be used as a form of Spyware. Many anti-spyware products are aware of this and constantly mark cookies to be deleted during anti-virus / anti-spyware deletion / scanning procedures.
In general, browsers have integrated privacy settings that provide different levels of acceptance of cookies, the period of validity and automatic deletion after the user has visited a particular site.
Other security issues related to cookies
Because identity protection is very valuable and represents the right of every internet user, it is advisable to know what possible problems cookies can create. Because through them information is constantly transmitted in both directions between the browser and the website, if an attacker or unauthorized person intervenes during the transmission of data, the information contained in the cookie may be intercepted.
Although very rare, this can happen if the browser connects to the server using an unencrypted network (eg an unsecured WiFi network).
Other cookie-based attacks involve incorrect cookie settings on servers. If a website does not require the browser to use only encrypted channels, attackers can use this vulnerability to trick browsers into sending information through unsecured channels. Attackers then use the information to gain unauthorized access to certain sites.
It is very important to be careful in choosing the most appropriate method of personal information protection.
Tips for safe and responsible browsing based on cookies
Here are some tips that can ensure that you navigate worry-free but with the help of cookies:
- Customize your browser settings for cookies to reflect a comfortable level of cookie security for you.
- If you do not mind cookies and you are the only person using the computer, you can set long expiration dates for storing your browsing history and personal access data.
- If you share access to your computer, you can consider setting your browser to clear individual browsing data each time you close your browser. This is a way to access the sites that place cookies and to delete any visit information at the end of the browsing session.
- Install and constantly update your antispyware applications. Many of the spyware detection and prevention applications include site attack detection. This prevents the browser from accessing websites that could exploit browser vulnerabilities or download malicious software.
- Make sure your browser is always up to date. Many of the cookie-based attacks are exploited by exploiting the weaknesses of older versions of browsers.
Cookies are everywhere and cannot be avoided if you want to enjoy access to the best and largest sites on the Internet – local or international. With a clear understanding of how they operate and the benefits they bring, you can take the necessary security measures so that you can surf the internet with confidence.
Disabling and refusing to receive cookies may make certain sites impractical or difficult to visit and use. Also, the refusal to accept cookies does not mean that you will no longer receive / see online advertising.
It is possible to set in the browser so that these cookies are no longer accepted or you can set the browser to accept cookies from a specific site. But, for example, if you are not registered using cookies, you will not be able to leave comments.
All modern browsers offer the ability to change cookie settings. These settings are usually found in the menus / buttons “Options”, “Settings” or “Preferences” of the browser used.
For further information: contact [at] smartfactoryromania [dot] ro