What are Browser Cookies?
Common types of cookies include first-party, third-party and session cookies. While first-party cookies save information from the website the user is currently visiting, advertisers use third-party cookies to keep track of a user's browsing activities. Some users are concerned with third-party cookies, so most popular web browsers include an option for rejecting third-party cookies, and programs are also available that can delete stored third-party cookies. Session cookies are temporary and only maintain user settings for a short period of time. An example of session cookies in use includes the online shopping cart feature at shopping websites.
Although browser cookies do have useful functions, some users fear they take away some privacy. The main issue is with third-party cookies that follow the user's interests and gather information for website advertisements and pop-ups. In addition, some users do not like the idea that websites can monitor the pages they visit. Cookies also can create a privacy concern if multiple users use the same computer.
Most web browsers give the user control over which cookies to accept and to deny and also have an option to deny all cookies. Denying all cookies may seem like a good idea, but some websites do not function properly without the capability. Disabling third-party cookies instead can avoid many privacy concerns without harming functionality.
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