Cookies are small files that are saved on a user’s computer. They are designed to store a small amount of data specific to a particular visitor and website accessed by it, being accessible to both the person holding the computer in which these modules were automatically saved and to the website that submitted this file. This type of processing allows the server to provide a web page tailored to a particular user, or even to transmit information from a visit to a site to another similar site with the same holder.
To check if your browser is configured to allow cookies, you’ll need to look into your browser’s setting options, the section dedicated to these modules, usually under the “privacy and security options.” Also, in this section you’ll find information on enabling or disabling cookies, deleting cookies. You can also view the contents of these file.
Each cookie file is actually a small table containing values (key, data) – for example (name, Ion) (name, Ana). Once the cookie file has been read by the code on the server or client computer, the data can be retrieved and used in order to customize the web page accordingly.
Writing data to a cookie module is usually done when information is sent to the visited website – for example, after pressing a ‘submit’ button, the data handling page could be used for Storing values in a cookie. If the user chose to disable cookies, the writing operation will fail and subsequent visits that could retrieve the information already transmitted from the cookies will either work according to the default algorithm for new visitors, or require the user to reintroduce the information that would have been stored in the cookie.
The expiration date of a cookie module can be set when the cookie is created. By default, the cookie is “destroyed” when the browser window is closed but can be designed to persist for a period of time after accessing a site.
When creating a cookie, it’s possible to control its visibility by setting the primary domain of the site that uses it. Then this file will be accessible to any site belonging to this domain. For example, the domain could be set to “numedomeniuprincipal.ro”, and the cookie will be available for sites from “numedomeniuprincipal.ro” or “xyz numedomeniuprincipal.ro” or “numedomeniuprincipal.ro”. This could be used to allow related pages to “communicate” with each other.
There are many concerns about privacy and security on the internet. Cookies do not in themselves pose a threat to privacy because they can only be used to store information the user has voluntarily provided or that the web server already has. Although this information may be made available to certain third-party sites, this does result into risks additional to those specific to data storage in a central database. If you are concerned that the information you provide to a web server are not treated as confidential, then you should ask whether you really need to provide this information or no.
Some commercial websites include embedded advertising materials that are provided by a third-party site, and it is possible that such ads may store a cookie for that site. In this cookie information that could include the name of the site, certain products visited, visited pages, etc will be stored. When the user later visits another site containing a similar embedded ad from the same third-party site, the advertiser will be able to read the cookie module and use it to determine some information about the user’s browsing history. This thing allows publishers to serve targeted ads in the interest of a user so that in theory these have a greater chance of being relevant to the user. However, many people see such “tracking cookies” as an invasion of confidentiality because they allow an advertiser to build user profiles without their consent or knowledge.
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