The decision of when to delete cookies should be based on the security issues of online activity, the speed of the Internet connection and which websites are frequently visited. As browser cookies are intended to speed up the loading of frequently visited websites, as well as track individual website usage by a visitor, they have both positive and negative values. Many virus detection programs will find, as a primary source of their functions, various tracking cookies that have been copied to users’ computers, and a setting to automatically delete cookies of this type is appropriate. While cookies are the most harmless types of files detected by antivirus software, they are also installed without the user’s permission or knowledge and can lead to security firewalls failing. To increase the security of your computer, deleting cookies frequently is the best option.
Cookies store browsing data so frequently visited websites load faster.
A periodic process of deleting cookies from a computer usually resolves most concerns. While cookies are designed to speed up access to a website, they primarily benefit the marketing aspects of the website itself and not the visitor. Cookies also take up very little space on a computer’s hard drive, as they are small text data files, so thousands of them can be stored on a contemporary personal computer without noticeably hogging space.
While cookies are designed to speed up access to a website, they primarily benefit the marketing aspects of the website itself and not the visitor.
There are several different names for cookies, including the hypertext transfer protocol cookie (HTTP cookie), web cookie, or browser cookie, but they are all stored as text files and have similar functions. Its primary and original use, when internet speeds were much slower in recent decades, was to track a visitor’s activity on a website for marketing and optimization purposes when the visitor returned later. This would allow for faster loading of web pages, advertising targeted to the visitor’s specific interests, and records kept of shopping cart data that were not filled in beforehand.
Cookies can open a security hole for hackers to obtain account information.
Tracking website traffic also allows for some customization if a user has filled out a form on the website, where they can be addressed by name, graphics can be uploaded based on individual interests, and more. The main disadvantage of such marketing practices is that cookies are not secure files. If it contains confidential information stored on the site or provided by the visitor, it can be easily read by anyone who knows where it is located or by anyone who might capture it during its transfer over the Internet.
Cookies are actually real-time log files of a user’s specific time, date and activity on a computer as the user interacts with the websites. If Internet access is being gained in a public or work environment, it is best to delete cookies after an Internet session ends to maintain privacy. If a user has never visited a website before, by default a cookie will be created on the first visit.
While browsers can be configured to block cookies from downloading, many websites claim that they will not work or load correctly if this feature is turned off. By themselves, cookies are quite harmless, but they can open a security hole for hackers to obtain account information and can be a sophisticated storage record of internet activity. The best practice for maintaining security and privacy is to delete cookies at every opportunity.
Using the delete web history command is usually just the first step.