An HTTP cookie (also called web cookie, Internet cookie, browser cookie, or simply cookie) is a small piece of data sent from a website and stored on the user’s computer by the user’s web browser while the user is browsing. Cookies were designed to be a reliable mechanism for websites to remember stateful information (such as items added in the shopping cart in an online store) or to record the user’s browsing activity (including clicking particular buttons, logging in, or recording which pages were visited in the past). They can also be used to remember arbitrary pieces of information that the user previously entered into form fields such as names, addresses, passwords, and credit card numbers.
Its main functions are:
- Take control of users: when a user enters their username and password, a cookie is stored so that they do not have to be introducing them for each page of the server. However, a cookie does not identify a person, but a computer combination of the computer-browser-user class.
- Get information about the user’s browsing habits, and spyware attempts (spyware), by advertising agencies and others. This can cause privacy problems and is one of the reasons why cookies have their detractors.
How to disable Cookies in the most used browsers
- Chrome: Settings → Show advanced options → Privacy → Content settings.
For more information, you can check Google support or browser Help.
- Internet Explorer: Tools → Internet Options → Privacy → Configuration.
For more information, you can consult Microsoft support or browser Help.
- Firefox: Tools → Options → Privacy → History → Custom Settings.
For more information, you can check Mozilla support or browser Help.
- Safari: Preferences → Security.
For more information, you can check Apple support or browser Help.