What is a Cookie and Why do we need them?

computer-cookieWhat is a cookie?

We usually thought it as some kind of a biscuit, but in computer world it has a meaning that is completely different. Cookies are text of information that are stored on your computer by the websites you visited. Cookie information contains an ID tag that will be use to recognize you when you return to the page. It stores information such as your name, username or site login, preferences, address and much more.

There are two types of cookies, the permanent and temporary. Permanent cookies or persistent cookies  are stored permanently on your computer. If you deleted a permanent cookie it will be just recreated the next time you visit the page that stored that cookie. Temporary cookies on the other hand or also what we called session cookies are cookies that are stored temporarily browsers memory and will be removed or deleted as soon as you close your browser.

Cookies does not collect any information about you or take any of your computer files. The sole purpose of cookies is help you have a faster and more pleasant internet experience. Cookies are enabled by default but but sometimes you may have to manually enable them.

Why do we need cookies?

Although cookies raises privacy concerns there are some advantages that cookies provides us.

  • Faster Internet Browsing – The websites loads much more quicker.
  • Websites can remember you – This is very handy especially when you frequently logon to your accounts. The website you visited will remember you so you don’t have to enter your password to logon.
  • Personalize websites – Some sites has a feature that only shows news that only applies to your area. But this would not be possible without a cookie.
  • Optimized websites – Webmaster can easily determine which of their pages is more popular and which are not.