So now that we’re a little over a week into the new year, everyone’s resolutions are in full swing, am I right? Well, if you’re like me, sneaky little temptations are already popping up everywhere… like the fact that it’s Girl Scout cookie season already. (Really? We aren’t even halfway through the month!)

Fortunately, though, I work for an IT company, so I decided to take my obsessive thoughts about cookies and channel them into something a little more relevant to my field (and better for my waistline). Thus, this blog about browser cookies was born!

Cookies are found everywhere on the internet. So, what are they? What are they used for? Why are they important? Let’s dive right in…

What are cookies?

Cookies (also known as browser cookies, internet cookies or even web cookies) are small files designed to store data that is specific to a client and website. They are stored on your computer, and they can be accessed by either the web server or the computer itself.

There are two different kinds of cookies, too. One is called a session cookie (or transient cookie), which is stored in temporary memory, and is erased when the browser is closed. The other is called a persistent cookie (or permanent cookie, stored cookie), which means they won’t expire until you delete them.

Why are cookies used?

A web server has no memory to store information, so, instead, the website that’s opened transfers a cookie file to your computer’s hard disk. So, the next time the website is opened, the browser will send the cookie to the web server, which allows the web server to use this information to present you with customized web pages based on your unique preferences. Essentially, these small pieces of data make it more convenient for you to browse the internet.

How can cookies be useful?

Cookies are a powerful tool because they allow web developers to easily perform long-term user recognition. One example of the widespread use of cookies is the ability of a website, such as Google, to store information about you in order to send you relevant, timely information and/or advertisements.

Is it a good idea to clear your cookies?

While cookies are useful tools that help you access information faster, they can clog your computer’s disk space. Additionally, since some cookies are persistent and store information that won’t expire, it’s a good idea to occasionally clean your disk space by clearing your cookies, cache, history and footprints. Keep in mind, though, that clearing your cache may cause you to lose the convenience of stored passwords and other data.

How to clear your cookies

Here are some resources that will help you clear your cookies, based on the browser you use:

Now, if you’re tired of talking about all these non-edible cookies, here’s a link to order some real Girl Scout cookies! You’ve earned it 😊

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