Cookies. Mmmm. It’s one of those cute names we give things that aren’t so cute, like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. I’m not talking about ways to load up on calories; no, I’m talking about those little files that get put on your computer when you visit a website. There are different types of web cookies that you should know about since, after all, they are on your computer.
A session cookie is put onto your computer when you are logged onto a website. From the time you log on until the time you log off is called a session.
After a website puts a persistent cookie on your computer it can remember if you have been there before. Generally, you have to manually remove these from your computer.
The first party is the website, the second party is you, and the third party is a company that asks the first party to put a cookie on your computer.
Local Shared Object (LSO), also known as a flash cookie, are cookies that stay on your computer even after you clear your cookies from your computer.
This is a cookie that can recreate itself after it is deleted. Scary!
Although many cookies provide some benefit to your online experience, others can be used as spyware or malware. If you don’t like cookies on your computer tacking your activity, there are a few steps you can take:
Visit the Networking Advertising Initiative and Opt-Out of Behavioral Advertising
Depending on what type of computer and browser you are using, there are different steps to clearing your cookies.Â Most browsers have a “Tools” section where you can find a way to clear cookies:
Each of these browsers have security options that will allow you to permit or restrict cookies on your computer. Some of the browsers will give you the option to allow first-party cookies but not third-party cookies, which might be a good choice to maintain performance on some websites which use a session cookie.