This Article Written by Trainee Heyam Aljaser From King Saud University #KSU
The simplest explanation of a cookie is that it’s a files that contain small pieces of data, used to track your online activity. like a username and password that are exchanged between a user's computer and a web server to identify specific users and improve their browsing experience. A tracking cookie records and broadcasts your web history, a rough location of where you are and the device you’re using. These are all pieces of data which help to identify personal information. And no internet user wants to reveal this to anonymous strangers. But these details can be shared by third-party software such as Google Analytics. SHOULD I ACCEPT COOKIES FROM WEBSITES? cookies are files you can delete. You probably do not want to block all cookies, because that would really limit the quality of your Internet experience. You can set your browser to ask your permission before accepting a cookie though, and only accept them from Web sites you trust. WHY COOKIES CAN BE DANGEROUS? because the data in cookies doesn't change, cookies them selves aren't harmful. They can't infect computers with viruses or other malware, although some cyber attacks can hijack cookies and, therefore, browsing sessions. The danger lies in their ability to track individuals' browsing histories. ARE COOKIES A SECURITY RISK? Cookies cannot be used to spread viruses and they cannot access your hard drive. This does not mean that cookies are not relevant to a user's privacy and anonymity on the Internet. ... In only this way are cookies a threat to privacy. The cookie will only contain information that you freely provide to a Web site. KEEPING SAFE WITH COOKIES Cookies carry a security risk, but as with most online activities it’s possible to negate and reduce these risks. To protect yourself for the more dangerous aspects of cookies make sure you do the following: • Always be careful when sharing personal information. Cookies can transmit this information, so tread carefully. And if you’re using a public computer then do not send any personal information. • Disable the storage of cookies in your internet browser. This reduces the amount of information being shared and can be adjusted in your browser’s privacy settings. • Browser add-ons are available that block third-party software such as cookie trackers and ensure that your browsing habits remain private. • Always make sure you have anti-malware software installed on your PC as malware can often disguise itself as harmless cookies or infiltrate advertising networks. • If a website asks you to accept cookies and you’re unsure of its legitimacy then leave the website immediately.