Home Latest News Understanding the Cybersecurity Threats of Browser Cookies

Understanding the Cybersecurity Threats of Browser Cookies


Cookies are an essential part of modern Internet but they can also be a threat to your privacy and security. Read on to know more…

Browser cookies are necessary for the modern Internet, yet they can compromise your privacy. Browser cookies are a crucial aspect of web browsing since they allow web developers to provide you with more personalized and convenient website visits. Cookies allow websites to remember you, your logins, shopping carts, and other information. They can, however, be a gold mine of personal information for cyber crooks to snoop on.

Online privacy protection can be challenging. Fortunately, even a basic awareness of cookies can help you in keeping prying eyes away from your online activities. While the majority of cookies are harmless, some can be used to track you without your permission. Worse, if a cyber-criminal gains access, genuine cookies can be spied on.

How Cookies can be a Threat
Cookies aren’t harmful because the data they save doesn’t change. They can’t utilize viruses or other malware to infect computers. However, hackers can access your browsing sessions by hijacking cookies and enable access to your browsing sessions.

Their ability to track people’s user’s browsing histories poses a threat. To clarify, let’s look at which cookies to watch out. Depending on where they come from, some cookies may pose a greater threat than others.

Cookies set by the website you’re visiting are known as first-party cookies. These are generally safer, as long as you are viewing reputable or non-compromised websites.

As a result, the advertiser could determine that a user searched for running apparel first at a certain outdoor store, then at a specific sporting goods website, and last at a specific online sportswear boutique.

Zombie cookies are third-party cookies that remain on users’ computers even if they choose not to accept them. They can also resurface after being deleted. The first zombie cookies were made from data stored in the Adobe Flash storage bin. They’re known as “flash cookies” and are incredibly tough to get rid of.

Web analytics organizations can employ zombie cookies, like other third-party cookies, to track distinct users browsing history. Zombies may also be used by websites to block specific users.

Privacy Risk
Cookies do not contain any information that can be used to identify you for instance it does not contain any Personally Identifiable Information (PII). However, your encrypted user identifier could be linked to your online username or even your real name in the event of a data breach. Your browsing history could potentially become public knowledge.

However, the session cookies and persistent cookies set by the websites that you visit do not track you on the internet. These first-party cookies are completely safe and necessary for making the most of the internet. The third-party cookies – the tracking cookies used by marketers – are the ones that pose a privacy concern. By using an ad blocker, setting your browser to reject third-party internet cookies, or requiring websites you visit to use only first-party cookies, you can eliminate the privacy risks.

Striking the right balance between privacy and personalisation is the answer to using cookies on the Internet. It’s crucial to have the right information at the right time in real time to better connect with customers. With the explosion of digital platforms, businesses today face the complications of consolidating consumer data across channels to acquire a 360-degree perspective of their customers. Customers want customised experiences, therefore they require a strategy for collecting customer data across channels and regions. However, in order to provide meaningful experiences while maintaining customer trust and privacy, businesses must use consensual data to better understand customers and their changing needs.

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