Published on
December 22, 2023
What are Internet Cookies
Reva AI

What are Internet Cookies? Is it relevant in 2024? Absolutely Yes


Web servers send files known as cookies—which frequently contain unique identifiers to web browsers. The browsers may then send the cookies back to the server whenever they request a page from the server.

Web servers can identify and track users as they navigate between pages on a website and recognize users who return to the site by using cookies. "Persistent" cookies and "session" cookies are the two types of cookies. A persistent cookie is a text file that is sent from a web server to a web browser. The cookie is stored by the browser and doesn't expire unless the user deletes it before then. Nevertheless, a session cookie expires at the end of the user session, when the web browser is closed.

Internet Cookies - Explained
Internet Cookies - Explained

What are Internet Cookies?

Small files called cookies are kept on a user's computer. They can be accessed by the web server or the client's computer and are used to store a small amount of data unique to a given client and website. 

Cookies were essentially little documents with information about you and your preferences when they were first invented. When you visit your website, for example, and choose your preferred language, the website saves the information in a file called a cookie on your computer. The next time you visit the website, the cookie will be read from the previous visit. By doing so, the website would be able to recognize your language preference and display content in it without requiring you to change it.

Any information, including the time you visited the website, the products you added to your shopping basket, all of the links you clicked on the page, etc., can be found in a cookie.

Types of Internet Cookies

  1. Session cookie:

Session cookies are a type of cookie that are temporarily stored on your device during a browsing session. They are also referred to as transient cookies or in-memory cookies. Session cookies are meant to be temporary and are removed when your web browser is closed, in compare to persistent cookies, which have an expiration date and can stay on your device for a longer amount of time.

  1. Persistent Cookies: 

Cookies that stay on your device for a set amount of time—even after you close your web browser or leave the website—are called persistent cookies, sometimes referred to as tracking cookies or permanent cookies. Persistent cookies stay in place throughout sessions and visits, in place of session cookies, which are temporary and eliminated when you end a browsing session. The website may have set specific expiration dates for them, or they may stay on your device until you manually remove them.

  1. Third-Party Cookies:

Cookies that are set by a domain other than the one you are currently on are known as third-party cookies. They are produced by outside websites or services and contain content that has been included on the website you are viewing, like social media plugins or advertisements. Third-party cookies are set by domains other than the one that is immediately visible in your browser's address bar, in contrast to first-party cookies, which are set by the website you directly interact with.

  1. HTTP Cookies:

HTTP cookies are little data files that are placed on a user's device by a web browser while they are viewing a website. They are also referred to as web cookies or just cookies. These cookies have a variety of uses and are essential to improving accessibility and functionality. For the webserver to remember specific user data for subsequent interactions, cookies are sent back and forth between the user's browser and the server.

How Cookies are used?

Cookies don't hold any personally identifying information about you, but we may link any personal data we store about you to the data we store in and get from cookies. The website uses a variety of cookies, including those that are required for access and navigation, performance cookies, functionality cookies, which remember your preferences, and cookies that show you customized content or advertisements.

The following uses of the information we may make of it when you use our cookies:

  • to recognize your computer when you visit the website
  •  to track you as you navigate the website, and to enable the use of any e-commerce facilities
  • to improve the website's usability
  • to analyze the use of the website
  • in the administration of the website
  • to personalize the website for you, including targeting advertisements that may be of particular interest to you.
Cookies and Site data
Cookies and Site data

Blocking Cookies

Most browsers allow you to refuse to accept cookies. For example:

  • In Internet Explorer you can refuse all cookies by clicking "Tools", "Internet Options", "Privacy", and selecting "Block all cookies" using the sliding selector;
  • In Firefox you can block all cookies by clicking "Tools", "Options", and un-checking "Accept cookies from sites" in the "Privacy" box.
  • In Google Chrome you can adjust your cookie permissions by clicking "Options", "Under the hood", and Content Settings in the "Privacy" section. Click on the Cookies tab in the Content Settings.
  • In Safari you can block cookies by clicking "Preferences", selecting the "Privacy" tab, and "Block cookies".

Blocking all cookies will, however, harm the usability of many websites. If you block cookies, you may not be able to use certain features on the website (log on, access content, use search functions).

Sometimes cookies show up unexpectedly and are received with rejection, much like surprise party invitations. The following are some typical problems users can have with cookies:

  • Privacy Issues: When websites use cookies to track users' activities, users frequently worry about their privacy. The thought of being watched online could make them uncomfortable.
  • Consent Pop-ups: Those annoying pop-ups that request permission to use cookies can be miserable. If they show up on every website a user visits, they may be considered intrusive by users.
  • Unwanted Tracking: Cookies are used to track user activity, and occasionally targeted advertising is made using this information. Personalized ads may cause users to feel as though they are being watched at all times.
  • Browser Compatibility: If cookies are disabled, some websites or features may not function as intended. Users can have trouble completing transactions or getting content.
  • Security Risks: Malicious actors may take advantage of cookies, even though they are safe in and of themselves. Consumers may be concerned about cookies' potential effects on security, particularly when visiting less secure websites.
  • Managing Cookies: If a user uses several devices or browsers, managing and deleting cookies may be difficult for them. This might cause a buildup of unwelcome data.
  • Persistent Logins: Although useful, persistent logins made possible by cookies may raise security issues. If a device is lost or stolen, users may be concerned about unwanted access to their accounts.
  • Performance Issues: If a lot of cookies are stored, some users may notice a slowdown in the functionality of the website. This can be annoying, particularly for users with less powerful devices or slower internet connections.

Also Read: What is SEO: Top Optimization Strategies 2024

Why do they ask to accept or decline Cookies before using any website?

The "Accept or Decline Cookies" pop-up is a way for websites to be courteous hosts in the vast world of the internet, making sure everyone feels comfortable and informed. It's like offering cookies but making sure it's on your terms.

  • Legal Compliance: Websites must notify users about the use of cookies and get their consent in keeping with data protection laws in many countries. Websites are required by law to be open and honest about the information they gather.
  • Privacy Protection: Requesting consent to use cookies is one way to protect privacy. Users have control over the data that is gathered about them thanks to it. This gives those who are picky about their online privacy the option to opt in or out.
  • User Empowerment: Giving users the freedom to choose is the foundation of user empowerment. Websites respect the autonomy of their users by requesting consent. It's similar to saying, "You're in charge of your online experience, and here's the option to customize it according to your preferences."
  • Building Trust: Transparency regarding cookie use promotes trust. Online environments become more transparent and trustworthy when users have the choice and know what happens to their data.
  • Preventing Unexpected Reactions: Picture yourself walking into someone's home and having a plate of cookies suddenly handed to you without your asking for them. It could feel a little strange. Similarly, websites want to avoid surprising users with data collection practices they might not be comfortable with.


We've looked at the many categories of cookies, including third-party and HTTP cookies, as well as their basic forms, like session and persistent cookies, and how important they are to improving user experience and website functionality. 

We now know the types, functions, and purposes of cookies, which has helped us to understand why they are used on websites. Cookies are now an essential component of the online environment, helping to personalize content, improve usability, and allow e-commerce features. 

Not every user experience is as fun as a plate of freshly baked cookies. It has been discussed how users can deal with cookies-related issues such as consent pop-ups, unwanted tracking, and privacy concerns. Apart from these difficulties, the handbook places a strong emphasis on the value of user empowerment, transparency, and building trust when it comes to cookie usage. 

The "Accept or Decline Cookies" prompt is a polite way for websites to honor user privacy and control; it is discussed in the last section. It draws attention to the importance of getting user consent before using cookies in order to protect privacy, comply with laws, empower users, and build trust. providing cookies is fun, as it is in any good relationship, but it's important to make sure that everyone feels comfortable and consensually.

Source: Cookiebot


Written by Ananya

Designed by Sagara

Edited by Vidyesh