Imagine a sticker with a sequential number that store employees in any shopping mall affix to your back. Now, based on this number, they can track your activity: for instance, noting which products intrigue you to remind you of them the next time. Online, this is accomplished with cookies.
Why are cookies essential? Thanks to this technology, many websites can record specific data about their users, which is later utilized to enhance the user experience. For instance, if you select a language on a multilingual website, the next time the page will load in that chosen language.
Of course, cookies serve websites' private interests as well. They help gather data for subsequent analysis. This may include information about the number of users who visited a particular page, the popularity of specific sections – all of which aids in refining content and functionality.
Moreover, cookies can be employed for advertising purposes. For example, if you view products online but don't purchase them, later on, you might be shown relevant promotional offers.
Moreover, it's essential to understand that many countries have enacted specific laws mandating websites to inform visitors about the precise data they collect about their users, mainly using cookies, and the purposes for which this information might be used subsequently.
Should one be concerned about cookie security? In the vast majority of cases, this technology poses absolutely no risk to the user. However, there are tracking cookies that might collect extensive data about your online behaviour, which you might not appreciate.
If you feel that certain websites overtly monitor your actions, infringing on your privacy beliefs, you can employ specific browser settings that help shield you from this. Most of these, for instance, can block tracking cookies.
In general, cookies are a technology that makes the internet more user-friendly. Of course, there are occasional privacy concerns, but popular websites won't risk their reputation, so they avoid collecting questionable data about their users.