7 types of browser cookies you should know

    Everything you need to know about browser cookies

    By Gizbot Bureau
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    The little popup box that informs you that the particular site that you are in collects cookies have made sure that these little nuggets aren’t far from our minds. This was a direct result of the EU making cookie warnings compulsory. But what many of us don’t realize is that not all cookies are similar.

    7 types of browser cookies you should know

     

    They all have their own specific functions. There are quite a few types of cookies out there. A closer look at all the cookies that you will come across as you make your way through the depths of the Internet will allow you to understand more about cookies.

    Session Cookies

    These are temporary cookies that your computer will delete as soon as you close your browser and end your session. No information about your computer or any personally identifiable information that can link a session to a particular user is saved. If you are shopping on Amazon, what makes it possible for you to fill your cart and then move back and forth between browsing for more things and your cart without losing the items is session cookies.

    First-Party Cookies

    These cookies are part of a website's long-term memory and allow a website to remember your information and settings when you revisit them in the future. These sites make it possible for sites to remember your preferences like menu settings, themes, language selection and internal bookmarks between sessions.

    Most of these cookies are deleted in a year if you do not visit the site within the expiration time frame. You will also be able to remove them manually.

    Third-Party Cookies
     

    Third-Party Cookies

    All the bad reputation swirling around cookies can be laid at the feet of third-party cookies. Whereas the domain of a cookie will match the domain of a site that you're visiting, a third-party cookie originates from a different domain.

    A third-party cookie has none of the benefits of the session cookies and first-party cookies and it is designed to track you through your browsing history, online behavior, demographics, spending habits and more.

    Secure Cookies

    A secure cookie can only be sent over an encrypted connection. However, this does not mean a developer can use a cookie to secure information. The "secure" flag only protects the cookie's confidentiality. A network attacker can overwrite secure connections from an insecure connection.

    HTTP-Only Cookies

    Secure cookies that are HTTP only cookies work together to reduce a cookie's vulnerability to cross-site scripting (XSS) attack.

    In this kind of an attack, a hacker injects malicious code into trusted websites, since the browser can't tell if the script can be trusted, it can access the browser's data about the infected site. A secure HTTP only cookie, which cannot be accessed by scripting languages (like JavaScript) is protected from attacks of this kind.

    Flash Cookies

    A supercookie is something that performs all the functions of a regular cookie but is harder to find and delete. Developers use the Flash plugin to hide cookies from your browser's native cookie management tools.

    Zombie Cookies

    A backup of this cookie is stored outside a browser's regular cookie storage folder, often as a Flash Local Shared Object or as an HTML5 Web Storage that makes it possible for the zombie cookie to recreate itself if someone deletes it.

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