What are cookies on websites? | What is third party cookie?

As an internet user, you are familiar with the term cookies. Whether you own a website or not, it is essential to be mindful of what cookies are all about.

From this article, we will be sharing what is cookie in websites and what they can do. Continue to read, and you can get all the information you want.


What are cookies in websites?

What are cookies on the website? They are small files that are used to store information about websites that you visit.

Cookies are usually stored on the web server and sent directly to the web browser. Web browsers are responsible for storing cookies for a specific time duration.

Sometimes, the cookies are destroyed once the user session ends with a website. On the other hand, cookies will be able to store future requests related to the website that a person would make.

One of the primary functionalities of cookies is that they inform different websites about the nature of the user accessing them.

As a result, websites are capable of personalizing the experience offered to the users. For example, let’s assume you visit an online store to buy something.

Cookies would store all information related the products you check out and buy. Then related products will be displayed to you as recommendations.


What are cookies used for on websites?

Now you have a basic idea of what do cookies do on a website. While keeping that in mind, let’s look at some more examples of how cookies are used within a website.

what are cookies used for on websites


Cookies are used for user sessions

A prominent application associated with cookies is that they are used to manage user sessions. In other words, a website can track activity with a specific person through cookies.

A cookie would include a unique string, which is made out of numbers and letters. This would usually match with the user’s session and will contain related information.



Cookies are used for personalization

Today’s websites look forward to delivering personalized experiences to users. Such websites seek the assistance of cookies to deliver a highly personal browsing experience to anyone.

That’s because cookies are capable of remembering user actions. On top of that, cookies can also keep track of user preferences. Such data is more than enough to deliver a personal experience to the visitors.


Cookies can be used for user tracking

Another prominent application associated with cookies is that they can be helpful with user tracking. If you wonder what cookies do on a website, you can’t simply ignore this fact.

Cookies record the visits of a person to a website. Then the stored information will be sent directly to the server responsible for originating the cookie.

When the browser comes across the need to load content from the same web server, information shared by the cookies will be helpful. That’s because the website is capable of tracking the user through cookies.

This will help the website display relevant ads to the user or deliver similar services.

It would help if you kept in mind that not all websites use cookies for advertising purposes. There are many other great applications associated with cookies.

For example, many analytics services out there use cookies for tracking purposes. They are tracking user activity without letting the users know about it.

One such perfect example of an analytics service that uses cookies for user tracking is Cloudflare Web Analytics. This will also help the websites to protect user privacy at the end of the day.


What are 3rd party cookies?

Based on your information about cookies on sites, you should also be aware of what third party cookies are all about.

A third party cookie refers to a unique cookie belonging to a completely different domain than the website domain displayed. In most instances, third-party cookies are being used for tracking.

The most significant difference that you can find between first party cookies and third party cookies is that the first-party cookies are linked with the same domain.

However, third party cookies are associated with a different domain.

Based on this, you can understand what is block third party cookies in incognito. Incognito browsers are usually blocking cookies, which don’t allow any tracking to be performed.

This is why most people who are concerned about them being tracked prefer to use incognito mode at the time of accessing the internet.

what are 3rd party cookies



How to find what cookies are on my website?

Based on the details you have about what are cookies on sites, you will be able to go ahead and understand the nature of cookies that exist on your website.

When you analyze what are cookies for websites, you can find many different types. Here are the most common types of cookies that you can find out there.


Session cookies

Session cookies are being used to track the sessions of users. Due to the same reason, you need to keep in mind that the session cookies get deleted when a user session ends.

For example, if a person closes the web browser, the session cookie will end. A unique thing about session cookies is that they don’t have an expiry date. As a result, the browser can delete them at the session’s end.


Persistent cookies

Persistent cookies are pretty different from session cookies. That’s because they would usually stay within the user’s browser for an extended period. It can be a day or even several years.


Authentication cookies

Authentication cookies are being used to authenticate user sessions and manage them. For example, authentication cookies will be used when a person logs into an online account through a web browser.

One of the best things about authentication cookies is that they can deliver sensitive information to users by detecting their user accounts.


Tracking cookies

Tracking services use tracking cookies. The main objective of tracking cookies is to record user activity. Web browsers are sending out tracking cookies to learn more about the users tracking them.

what do cookies mean on websites



Zombie cookies

Zombie cookies are quite different from traditional cookies as they can create backup versions outside the traditional cookie storage location of the web browser.

These cookies are often used for illegal ad displays and cyber-attacks.



From this article, you can learn more about what is the meaning of cookies in websites and how they are used. On top of that, you also know how different websites use cookies.

Depending on that, you can decide how to use cookies on your website accordingly. This will eventually help you get the most out of what cookies can offer you.

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