Different types of Internet Cookies

An Internet Cookie is a small snippet of information sent from a web server to a user’s browser, which then stores it. On subsequent access to the same web server this server can then read back this information snippet and use it to “recognize” the user. These are an extension of the “Hypertext Transfer Protocol” (HTTP). This protocol makes surfing possible by allowing the requested web page to be delivered from the relevant server to your computer and then displayed in your browser. They are, normally, stored as Text Files in the C:\Users\username\Cookies folder. You can read them with Notepad, or use WinPatrol for reading and managing them. But to know where Internet Explorer stores Cookies in Windows 8, Windows 7 and Windows Vista, visit this page.


Types of Internet Cookies

First Party Cookies are generally used to personalize your experience with a website, whereas, any cookie used by a web site, OTHER THAN, the one you are currently visiting is referred to as a 3rd Party Cookie.

The Dark Side of Cookies : If you provide your proper name, address or other details, when registering on some website, you should not be surprised when masses of personalized advertising material suddenly begin to appear in mailboxes. Such information stored in your cookies can be accessed by others ! These are called as Tracking Cookies. Disabling the use of Cookies can sometimes make some web pages un-renderable.

But its not a bad idea to set your browser block 3rd Party Cookies, which are nothing but Cookies from another website requested via an embedded advertising banner. These have no benefit to the user as they are only used for data gathering purposes.

Again they could be Session Cookies or Persistent Cookies. The former are temporary and deleted after you close down your IE, whereas the latter are more permanent in nature and store you sign-in details and passwords.

Flash cookies and Silverlight cookies are referred to as Browser Independent Cookies. You can Delete Flash Cookies in Windows using Flash Player Settings or Flash Cookie Remover or  via Delete Browsing History in Internet Explorer.

When you access any web site, IE compares the site’s compact privacy statement, with your expressed privacy preferences. Based on it, it then accepts, restricts or blocks the cookies.

Internet Explorer supports the Platform for Privacy Preferences (P3P) standard. This enables IE to filter Cookies. It can block or admit cookies on the basis of their content and purposes, in accordance with your stated privacy preferences.

To customize your Cookie handling in Internet Explorer, Open IE > Internet Options > Privacy Tab. here you can use the slider to choose one of the following options:

  • Block All Cookies
  • High
  • Medium High
  • Medium
  • Low
  • Accept All Cookies

Medium is the Default setting, and its best to stay with it.

So then, are Cookies Spyware…not in the real sense at least…no definitely not! At most, they could be a cause for concern for the privacy conscious. Lets face it, some of us do feel a strange sense of satisfaction after our anti-spy detects ATLEAST something on our machine. But such excitement, if I may refer to it as such, is unwarranted! No matter how hard the Anti-Spyware companies try to make them out to be spyware, they really not worth the ‘hue and cry’.

If you ARE so concerned about your privacy issues, best to clean up your Cookies folder daily.

Go here if you want to find out how to disable, enable Cookies in Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Opera browsers. Expired Cookies Cleaner will help you remove Expired Cookies in Internet Explorer.

Post ported from WVC

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.

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