In modern computing, temporary data takes on many different forms. When using the internet, many web browsers store temporary data via small bits of information, or files, known as cookies. There are several different types of cookies, with some more common than others, and they can all be used to achieve various results.
Common Uses of Cookies
Now that you have a better idea of how cookies are used in modern computing, it's time to learn more about the different types of cookies available.
The Different Types of Cookies
Understanding the different types of cookies is a crucial step in safeguarding your internet browser from nefarious sites and services. Start by separating all cookies into one of two general categories: first-party cookies or third-party cookies.
Cookies put in place by the websites you've personally visited with your internet browser are known as first-party cookies. These generally affect the functionality or accessibility of the website, but some nefarious sites will use these cookies for tracking or advertising.
In contrast, cookies that are delivered through online advertisements, videos, or banners are known as third-party cookies. Users don't even have to visit the original location of the ad or video. As such, third-party cookies are amongst the most controversial and are often used for nefarious purposes.
Some additional cookie types include:
As you can see, third-party cookies pose the biggest threat - but even those aren't really able to uncover your personal identity, download any files, or infect your system with a virus. They can, however, track your internet usage and analyze your personal browsing history. Thankfully, many popular internet browsers and online security suites have already begun blocking third-party cookies right from the start.
You may read more about an HTTP cookie in Wikipedia: HTTP cookie.