SEO

What are Cookies and What They do for Privacy (Infographic)

The topic of cookies seems to come up more as part of the larger privacy discussion. There are apparently cookies creeping into our information, taking bits of us and sending it to anyone who we can imagine wouldn’t want to see it. All of the search engines use them, the advertisers, Facebook and social networks. With all of this fear, uncertainty and doubt floating around it seems like a good time to look at the basics. Understanding what cookies are and what they are capable of will help us all use the web a little better. The following infographic and illustrations attempt to visualize the basics behind web cookies:

Cookies Infographic 272x1024 What are Cookies and What They do for Privacy (Infographic)

(Click to enlarge)

To embed this infogrphic to your blog, please use the following code:

<p style=”text-align: center;”><a href=”http://www.searchenginejournal.com/what-are-cookies-and-what-they-do-for-privacy-infographic/25479/”><img title=”Cookies Infographic” src=”http://www.searchenginejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Cookies-Infographic-272×1024.png” alt=”" width=”272″ height=”1024″ /></a></p>

The Privacy Problem

While cookies are theoretically available only to one site, advertising companies get around this by pointing all of the cookies through a single domain and it’s servers. They can share this information from their servers without restrictions. They could do something as simple as preventing you from seeing an ad twice in a row as you navigate through pages.

All of the major search engines use cookies. When you see that you are persistently logged into a site as you navigate through various pages, that’s using your browsers stored text. From Google’s Privacy Policy: “Google uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. Cookies help us keep keep a record of your preferences, like whether you want your search results in English or French, or if you use our SafeSearch filter. Without cookies, Google wouldn’t be able to remember what different people like. We also use cookies to provide advertising more relevant to your interest.”

You could theoretically block all cookies within your browser. However, so many functions of various sites rely on these features. Most browsers have some level of selectively managing cookie files and selected sites

e1b4d6fc70ba859b04193077ee7b95df 64 What are Cookies and What They do for Privacy (Infographic)

Brian E. Young

W graphic designer and illustrator who blogs and podcasts about creativity at www.Sketchee.com
e1b4d6fc70ba859b04193077ee7b95df 64 What are Cookies and What They do for Privacy (Infographic)
e1b4d6fc70ba859b04193077ee7b95df 64 What are Cookies and What They do for Privacy (Infographic)

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7 thoughts on “What are Cookies and What They do for Privacy (Infographic)

  1. It is a very informative infographic about cookies, presented in such a nice way about cooking. Seriously, blocking cookies from your browser is not advisable as lots of websites uses cookies to track visitors on their site. This may be construed as an attack to private browsing but it is not as the cookies can be deleted right after you close your browser and every time you go to that site a new cookie is given to you.

  2. Its really great to be in SEJ as the posts are always knowledgeable and what authors share are from their experience which truly helps new comers in the field of search engine and even to lay person. The way you have presented the story about cookies with diagram is very creative and is amazingly beautiful plus the information that the post contains itself. Great Post Brain! thanks a lot…And keep on posting your experiences and knowledge for us.

  3. The topic of cookies seems to come up more as part of the larger privacy discussion. There are apparently cookies creeping into our information, taking bits of us and sending it to anyone who we can imagine wouldn’t want to see it. All of the search engines use them, the advertisers, Facebook and social networks

  4. Thanks for the comments on the post, all! There’s so much fear and uncertainty about cookies, but most of the mainstream articles skip over the basics of what cookies really are. Hopefully this adds to the discussion in a way that the average person can understand.

  5. i liked the way you explain via graphics. because its a good way to make people explain. graphics are always eye catchy and people start taking interest to read. and you did the great job to explain the difficult topic of web via a colorful image. i got the idea for my students to explain them. will try them like this :P