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What Are Cookie Files?

A cookie (also called internet cookie, browsing cookie, and HTTP cookie) is a small piece of information created by a website on your computer. A cookie contains one or more name-value pairs to remember your website information like preferences, login details, shopping cart contents, etc.

The cookie is a good cookie if the cookie intends to use your information for processing your requested actions on the website. The cookie is a bad cookie  if the cookie intends to steal your information for purposes you never requested.

You can control different types of cookies within the firewall based on descriptions below.

 

Session cookie

These cookies are the safest cookies. They are stored temporarily when you visit a website and would be destroyed when you close the website.

 

Persistent cookie

These cookies are safe cookies too. However, these cookies are saved on your computer for reference when you visit the website in future. Hence, many websites like yahoo mail would identify your username during your second visits.

It is recommended to manually delete these cookies to prevent accumulation of cookie files. Deleting cookies improve browsing speeeds. Also, deleting cookies prevents a possible exposure of information for stealth and misuse.

 

Third-party cookies

Third party cookies are not safe. A cookie saved on your computer by a website other than the website you are surfing, is a third-party cookie.

Third-party cookies are used by advertising companies to learn your preferences and surfing habits for targetting pop-ups and advertisements. These cookies can also track your navigation on the internet, steal your privacy and misuse your information.

 

Web bugs

These are usually implemented as small invisible images on a website or email. They are used to track user activity like page hits and content forwarding.

 

Private Header Information

Your IP address, workstation name, login name, and other personal information can be tracked with private headers.

 

Cookie expiration date

If websites do not set a date for persistent and third party cookies to expire, then this poses a threat to your privacy. Hence, set the maximum number of days within which a cookie has to expire. Once you configure this within the firewall, this expiration date  will be applied to all cookies saved by websites on your computer.

 

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