Do you often have notifications appear when you visit a website asking if you would like to accept cookies and you have no clue what that means? Don’t worry, most people don’t fully understand what they’re agreeing to when they accept cookies on a webpage. In the United States, it was found that 49% of people only somewhat understand what internet cookies are and 24% of people don’t understand what they are at all. In this article, we’re going to get into all things cookies to educate people on what they’re giving permission to when they accept cookies on a website. Here we will give the full rundown explaining all the types of internet cookies, if they’re dangerous, and how you can avoid receiving a cookies notification when you browse the web.
What are internet cookies?
Internet cookies collect data on your online activity as you navigate a website and then store it for future purposes when you revisit the website. They essentially track and collect your online behavior to improve your browsing experience in a variety of ways, making your online life and website owners’ online jobs easier. Internet cookies accumulate different types of information like your online preferences, login information, and browsing history. Let’s dive deeper into the different types of data collected.
Cookies collect all sorts of online preferences. For example, when you are online shopping at amazon.com, the items you add to your cart (even if you don’t purchase all of them) are recorded, stored, and remembered by internet cookies. So, if you add those popular LED string lights to your shopping cart but exit the page without purchasing them, the next time you browse Amazon, cookies will remember and tell Amazon about your interest in this product, and Amazon will display LED lights while you browse the site.
You know when you visit a website and your account information automatically fills into the username and password fields? The website remembers your login information because of internet cookies. When you visit a website and give permission to cookies to collect and save your login credentials, this website is able to retrieve this information in the future when you revisit the page. So, the next time your login information automatically appears upon entering a website, it comes from cookies data.
What are the Different Types of Web Cookies?
There are multiple types of internet cookies that exist for different purposes, collecting different types of data. The most common types of web cookies are session cookies, persistent cookies, first-party cookies, third-party cookies, and flash cookies. Follow along to learn about how these types of website cookies work.
Session cookies are temporary files that are stored on a person’s computer for the duration of their visit to a website. This type of web cookie allows websites to remember information about a person’s activity during their session and is typically deleted when the browser is closed.
Online shopping websites use session cookies to retain essential information like what you have added to your shopping cart. Without session cookies, your cart would clear each time you visit another page on an e-commerce website. Thus, session cookies enable you to have your cart filled with all the products you would like to purchase when you visit the checkout page.
The main features of Session Cookies:
- Allows you to use websites
- Enable websites to remember visitors for a short period of time (one session)
- Anonymous browsing sessions can become personalized sessions after registration
- Required to make e-commerce sites effective
Persistent cookies are longer-lasting files that are stored on your computer for an extended period. These cookies allow websites to remember information about a person’s activity over multiple sessions and can be used to store data like language preferences or login information.
Have you ever been browsing on your Facebook account, then closed your browser, left your computer for 10 minutes, then went back onto your browser to check Facebook and you are still logged in? That happens because of persistent cookies. Your login information and activity on Facebook was stored by persistent cookies on your computer for an extended period of time (10 minutes) which enabled you to still be logged into Facebook when you revisited the site once time passed.
The main features of Persistent Cookies:
- Allow websites to remember information about your activity over multiple sessions
- Stores your personal preferences, bookmarks, or login information
- Stored on your hard drive
- Accessible by the website that created them and other websites that have been authorized to access them
First-party cookies help website owners understand how you navigate their site and what preferences you like to help improve the site features. They are created by a single website and are only accessible by this site. This type of browser cookie is the long-term memory of a specific website you visit, keeping data for a year or more. It stores specific information relevant to you and the website to improve and maximize your experience on this site. First-party cookies collect information like your settings, key identifications, or data analytics.
The main features of First-Party Cookies:
- First-party cookies are created by the website that a person is visiting
- Websites can use these cookies to remember a user’s preferences or keep them logged in to the website
- First-party cookies are typically stored on the computer’s hard drive and can only be accessed by the website that created them
Third-party cookies are external sites that track your online behavior, interests, and preferences on a website you visit and sell it to advertisers or other website owners. Advertisers and website owners use these types of web cookies to implement targeted advertising based on your browsing history, activity, and behavior.
Are you ever concerned that your phone is listening to you? It’s not, that’s just third-party cookies. Let’s say you really want a fresh pair of Nike runners and you can’t stop talking about it or looking them up on Nike’s website, and all of a sudden Nike runner advertisements are everywhere! You see Nike runners on Instagram story ads, and side advertisements on blog websites, and as you scroll your Facebook feed – these Nike runners are everywhere. Third-party cookies are embedded all over the internet and track your online interests and behaviors so if you Google search “Nike Runners”, third-party cookies will collect and store that data and sell it to websites that will display Nike runners ads, so you see them everywhere you go on the web.
The main features of Third-Party Cookies:
- They are generally known as tracking cookies.
- Track your personal data as you enter multiple sites
- Redirect you to sites that sell items that align with your interests
- Create custom advertisements for your interests
- Third-party cookies give internet cookies a bad reputation
- Sites that created third-party cookies sell various types of user data to advertisers
Flash Cookies (also known as Local Shared Objects) are files that are stored on the personal computer by Adobe Flash Player. These files can be used to save game progress or remember playback settings for videos.
The main features of Flash Cookies:
- They are typically used in videos and web ads.
- Flash Cookies are also known as Local Shared Objects. They are files stored on a private computer by Adobe Flash Player.
- These files can be used to save game progress or remember playback settings for videos.
- Flash cookies are typically stored on a computer hard drive and can be accessed by both the website that created them and any other websites that have been authorized to access them.
- Thanks to respawning, Flash cookies are not deleted when you delete your browser’s HTTP cookies. This process of cross-browser tracking raises privacy concerns.
Should I Block Internet Cookies?
Do you want online anonymity? Would you like your online behaviors and interests to be private? If the answer is yes, then you should block internet cookies. To an extent, internet cookies are important because they make your online life and website owners’ lives easier. On the other hand, internet cookies can be very invasive, tracking your every online move, and leaving you with no privacy. Some believe cookies are necessary for providing personalized content and experiences and that they are not generally used to collect sensitive information, but many types of cookies (like third-party cookies) don’t play within those boundaries, they’re invasive; collecting sensitive information that does not benefit your online browsing experience.
Ultimately, it is up to you to decide whether you’re comfortable with the different types of cookies tracking your online behavior. You need to ask yourself “Does it bother me that my online behavior is being collected and stored?”, “Do I feel like cookies are invading my privacy?”, “Do I feel that I experience the benefits of website cookies based on the data they collect from me?”. Based on your answers, continue reading to learn how to restrict, remove, and block web cookies.
Ways to Delete Internet Cookies
There are several ways to remove current internet cookies that have already been stored on your browser and block cookies from being stored in the future. Some browsers have privacy tools like incognito mode that allows you to browse the web without storing any cookies. Additionally, there are a number of third-party programs that sites use to manage cookies.
A third-party extension that blocks cookies from collecting your data is Poper Blocker. Poper Blocker maintains your online integrity by enabling you to block all sorts of notifications and ads from your browser including cookie requests. This ad-blocking tool prevents your online behavior and information from being stored by denying permission for websites to collect cookies. Poper Blocker blocks all types of cookies so you do not have to worry about any cookie type from tracking your. To activate the “hide cookies request” tool with Poper Blocker, follow the steps below:
Using Poper Blocker is easy. To start, download the extension onto your browser.
- Click on the puzzle piece icon in the top right corner of your browser (this is the extensions icon)
- Find and click the pin on the right side of the Poper Blocker extension
- Now the Poper Icon will appear on the top right side of your browser beside the Chrome extensions icon
- Click on the Poper Blocker icon
- Look for and select Hide Cookie Requests
In addition to Poper Blockers removing cookie requests from your browser, it is beneficial for multiple other reasons. Poper Blocker gives you control over what you want to see when you surf the web. For example, ad blockers like Poper Blocker enable you to block overlays and pop-ups that appear on websites and try to distract you, obtain your information, or track your online activity.
Stop Internet Cookies from Tracking you
If Internet cookies aren’t removed from your browser, they remain stored, and all data can be read by the website you’re visiting. It’s a double-edged sword: cookies make it easy to log in to websites next time around (since data is stored), but your browsing activity is also tracked by advertisers and occasionally by third parties with ill intent. Out of all the different types of internet cookies, third-party cookies are the most invasive and non-essential. Did you know that 60% of cookies are third-party cookies? These types of web cookies have an abundant presence on the internet and live off your private information for their benefit. Fortunately for you, tools like Poper Blocker allow you to block all types of cookie notifications including third-party cookies. Keep your online behavior, information, and interests confidential by blocking cookie requests with Poper Blocker.
How many types of internet cookies are there?
There are many types of internet cookies with different motives, functions, and purposes. The most common types of web cookies are session cookies, persistent cookies, first-party cookies, and third-party cookies.
What are the different types of internet cookies?
There are various web cookie types. Session cookies, persistent cookies, first-party cookies, and third-party cookies are the most common. There are many other types of cookies that aren’t as popular as zombie cookies and flash cookies.
How do I block internet cookies?
You can block internet cookies in various ways. Your browser’s settings will have a tool that enables you to clear all cookies storage on your device so that the “memory system” of cookies on your browser has been wiped. A very efficient way to block internet cookies is by downloading a blocking extension like Poper Blocker that hides all cookie requests from your browser so that cookies aren’t able to ask you for permission to track your data.