When you browse the internet, information from site’s you visit are stored on your device in the form of cookies. Every day you use your browser to check your email, do banking and buy things online using web sites. Information you enter, places on the page you look at, how fast you scroll and links you click can all be easily stored and used by advertising companies.
What are Cookies
Basically, they are small packets of Data stored on your device when you visit a site. They can contain crucial information such as your login credentials, search history, and more. This all depends on the kind of site you visit. A cookie can also include a detailed log of what you did on the site or what you’ve got laying around in your Amazon cart. They operate in the background and you won’t even notice whether your browser is using a cookie or not.
Why Cookies are a potential risk to your Privacy
Tracking Cookies and advertising
Cookies are widely used by advertisers, and data sharing is common. This enables companies like Google or FaceBook to track your browsing sessions. It is also the reason why ads seemingly know what you’re thinking and “follow” you around. Perhaps you have been researching holiday destinations. Then all of a sudden you start seeing ads for flights or car rentals. Many would argue that this is a useful side effect. In some cases it may be! But take a moment to think just how much other data these private companies may have stored ready to sell to the highest bidder.
Why you should clear your browser Cookies regularly
You can’t tell whether a site is using them or not (although most are). Some are deleted when you log out of a site or quit your browser. Others are stored on your computer for years! There is one thing they all have in common. They are all used for data collection. Whether this is useful or not depends on the intended purpose. Regularly clearing them will prevent companies from deeply profiling you, and potentially safeguard you against malicious hacks.
Logging In Through A Public Computer
Every now and then, we find ourselves using a public computer to get something done in a hurry. Whether it’s to check our emails or log into Facebook. The last thing you want is the Computer to remember your login credentials. It’s always recommended that you delete your browser history and cookies or use Incognito/Private mode when using a public computer to access any accounts online.