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:
(Click to enlarge)
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<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://cdn.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.
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