Why Do Websites Ask For Cookies?

by | Aug 1, 2022 | Education, Websites

Have you opened a website lately with a pop-up asking you to accept the cookies before continuing? Chances are high that you have. But what exactly is that about, and why is the website asking you?

Cookies are small pieces of data stored within a web browser and can later be retrieved by the site. The cookies tell the server when users return to a particular website. By storing information in a cookie, a website can display selected settings and targeted content when a user returns to the site.

Just like we have chocolate chip, snickerdoodle, or shortbread cookies, the Internet also has different cookies. The two top categories are session and persistent cookies. Session cookies store information while the user is visiting a site. These cookies are deleted once you close out your session. Persistent cookies are stored on your device until they expire or are deleted. These can be thought of as tracking cookies because they collect user information like browsing habits and preferences.

So since websites use cookies to remember the actions or preferences of users, they are trying to make your experience with them easier. That way, if you left something in your shopping cart but didn’t buy it, it will still be there later for you. Most users see a cookie warning or policy pop up on a website and click OK or YES to it without much thought. I know I hardly ever read the fine print with that. But don’t be too quick to accept all cookies. Make sure you are on a trusted site that’s encrypted! Otherwise, read the policy!


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