HTTP & Web Browser Cookies

HTTP or browser cookies are a piece of web browsing to reliably store data about your time on a website. Virtually every website will store a small amount of information on your computer so it remembers what you have done when browsing the site. Perhaps the most common use for cookies is to store login status. So next time you don’t have to re-login every time you leave the page. Cookies can also remember what you put in your shopping cart, or which links you already clicked. These types of cookies are entirely benign, making browsing more convenient.

Tracking Browser Cookies

Another type of browser cookie is referred to as a tracking cookie. While these are relatively harmless, tracking cookies specifically are what cause most misunderstandings regarding the use of cookies. Tracking cookies store data from a variety of sources about your browsing history and habits in order to gain insightful information. Typically this data is compiled, analyzed, and then used to market to you and similar people who share your interests. For instance you might search for best granola cereal and click on some links. This information is tracked and then the next time you’re online instead of seeing ads for peanut butter, which you are allergic to, you see ads for organic granola. The basis of eCommerce re-marketing is on tracking cookies learning the websites you visit and advertising products or services again based on that information.

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