Understanding Cookies: Definition, Functions, and Types

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Understanding Cookies: Definition, Functions, and Types

Many people still do not understand what cookies are. In fact, understanding cookies is important, especially for website owners. Therefore, this article will explain the meaning of cookies, their functions, and their types.

When you visit a site, you may see a pop-up message requesting your consent to the use of these cookies. Cookies themselves are critical to improving your website experience.

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What are Cookies

Cookies are files embedded on the computers of users or visitors who access your website. These cookies can show various user activities previously carried out, such as logging into the opened page.

In addition, these cookies can save user information such as name, email address, and home and work address.

When you enter information on a website, it is saved in cookies. People frequently associate cookies with the cache. However, the two are very different.

The basic difference is that the cache is a temporary data storage that serves to speed up the access process to the browser. While cookies are a place to store information from a previous activity on the website. The information is recorded so the website can display content according to user preferences.

Functions of Cookies

After knowing what a cookie is, it is necessary to understand how it works to improve the user experience when accessing the website. This is due to the functions of cookies, which include the following:

1. Saving Login Information

When you visit a website that requires a user account, you must first create an account by entering your email address and password. Cookies will then store your data based on that information.

You don't have to enter your username and password again when re-entering the account because cookies have saved them, and you can use the stored data. This makes it easier for users to avoid entering data again. When the data reappear, simply click Login. The use of this login information is also beneficial in improving the user experience.

In addition, if you forget your password, you can view the information from the cookies that have saved the data and Google settings.

2. Provide Reader-friendly Content

Cookies will remember the content you have opened and read frequently. Thus, it will provide content and references that match your daily consumption.

In addition, cookies also display features that you use frequently and become your favorites. So, this will make the experience as a user more comfortable and easy.

3. Site Settings are Stored in Cookies

Cookies can remember all of your settings after you make changes to them. For example, when you change the website's language, resolution, and color mode, cookies will record that information and display it again the next time you visit the website.

That way, the settings you made earlier will be remembered, and you won't have to set them every time you visit the website.

4. As a Marketing Function

Another cookie function is that it can be used for marketing. In doing business, whether small scale, medium scale, or large companies, what needs to be considered is a good marketing strategy.

Many companies that create their e-commerce sites use cookies. This is so that they can easily target the products sold to customers.

This cookie will provide information in the form of keywords, geographic location, and product searches, making it easier for you to do marketing.

Many businesses also use cookies for business social media to display advertisements that are relevant to the user's interests. Thus, the target customer is more focused, and the opportunity to get customers becomes greater because it is raised to users who are truly interested in using the product.

Types of Cookies

There are 3 types of cookies that you can use.

1. Session Cookies

Session cookies are places where activity information is stored but only temporarily. So, when you close the website, the cookies will be deleted automatically.

Session cookies do not need to collect data information from the computer device that is currently used.

2. Persistent Cookies

Next is Persistent cookies which are inversely proportional to Session cookies. This type of cookie is stored on the hard drive and is not temporary because it remains even if the website is closed. To remove these cookies, you must manually delete them. 

These persistent cookies will display previously set user activity on the website. Examples are language, theme, design, and others. That way, you don't have to set it up again when the website is reopened.

3. Third Party Cookies

This type of cookie allows third parties to place cookies on specific websites for various purposes, such as digital marketing for advertising.

These cookies will display advertisements that are relevant to your search or online presence. The third party will usually arrange it so the website owner can earn money from the advertisement.

Are Cookies Dangerous?

Cookies have the capability of storing the user's activity. So, are cookies dangerous? You shouldn't be concerned because, in general, cookies are safe.

This cookie will not transmit a virus to the device you are using. However, because cookies can save your data, you should be aware of them. This is because it can be dangerous if misused by some people.

As a result, before granting permission to access cookies, you should carefully read what data will be stored when visiting specific websites.

You should also delete cookies because storing a lot of them can cause your device to experience a decrease in performance, resulting in frequent bugs.


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About the Author

I am a web designer and developer. Sharing knowledge is my passion and web designing is my interest but it is not bigger than my interest in Islam.

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