Cookie: what is it?

Qu’est-ce qu’un cookie ?

A cookie is in the form of a text file, created when you visit most websites. Its purpose is to save your preferences in the event of a new visit.

But how exactly does the cookie work? What is its use?

How does the cookie work?

As previously mentioned in the introduction, a cookie is a text file containing certain information about your visit to a given website. This information is recorded by your browser. Cookies facilitate the acceleration of your navigation by preloading your settings when opening the site.

In addition, their service life does not exceed 13 months. Then, you will have to accept the site’s cookies policy again.

Cookies save your data in the form of an alphanumeric code. For example, when you put items in your shopping cart on an e-commerce platform, they are saved in the code. Thus, if you do not confirm the purchase until the next day, the items will still be in your basket.

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But the usefulness of cookies does not stop at your visit settings. Indeed, they also apply the saving your login details. Thus, when you connect to sites on which you are registered, the latter offers you to auto fill for you the identification boxes.

Finally, you should know that there are five categories of cookies, three of which are necessary. There are so-called strictly necessary cookies, performance cookies and finally, functionality cookies.

What is the use of the cookie?

Cookies have many uses on the Internet. Indeed, the latter act on:

  • logins and passwords;
  • storing display settings;
  • analysis of page views;
  • the various information coming from social networks;
  • the seizures made on the site.

Cookies automatically apply logins and passwords. Thus, the identification on the visited site is done more simply. But it is not a systematic technique. Indeed, your connection information is contained in a cookie on your web browser. You then have the choice to save your login details.

Storage of display settings

The storage of display settings is one of the functions offered by cookies. Indeed, the latter will offer you pages based on those you have visited previously. By personalizing the site visited, it will remain, thanks to cookies, in the same configuration when you return.

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Cookie: analysis of page views

Cookies also make it easier to analyze your connection behavior. Indeed, they offer the owner of the site the possibility of following your connection path. Thus, he can offer increasingly relevant content according to your different choices.

Information from social networks

Here too, we are on an identification parameter. If you like an article, just click on the share icon. The connection information is then read in a cookie in order to perform the operation.

Entries made on the site

By doing research on Google, you feed the cookies of your browser. Indeed, they retain your centers of interest. Thus, it is easier for these sites to offer you targeted advertising according to your tastes.

Should you remove them from your computers?

Information about cookies is stored in your browser’s cache. Since files take up a lot of space, they slow down your computer. It is therefore advisable to empty your cache regularly to avoid this type of inconvenience.

However, there is another reason to consider. Indeed, the data protection (GDPR) is a more sensitive point around cookies. Some users see it as a violation of their privacy.

Is your website GDPR compliant?

Nevertheless, cookies contain a lot of information intended to facilitate your navigation. By removing them, you slow down the connection to certain sites. Fortunately, you can choose to delete cookies.

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By deleting cookies only on the sites that you visit the least, you limit the dissemination of your personal information while maintaining navigation speed.

How to remove them?

Several manipulations are available to you depending on your browser.

Under Internet explore the option is found by following the Tools tab, then Internet Option. When you get to the Browsing History, you just have to delete it, taking care to check the box cookies and saved website data.

In Firefox, you must go to Option, then Privacy and security. Here, it is possible to erase your recent history always by checking the cookie box.

Finally, for Mac users, Opera also offers the possibility of getting rid of Cookies. To do this, simply go to the Tools tab, select Delete confidential data then Delete all cookies.

How to clear the cache of your Google Chrome browser?

What you must remember

Cookies are essential elements to gain speed on the Internet. The data they contain make it easier for you to connect and allow you to resume browsing where you left off. Customizable, you can choose to keep them or not in your browser.

INFOGRAPHIC: The European Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
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