Cookies can be sent through secure or non-secure internet connections. If they make insecure connections they are marked as non-secure cookies. Non-secure cookies are vulnerable to eavesdropping.
If a cookie belongs to the site the user is visiting, it is marked as a first-party cookie. These cookies help a website to function, for example with this type of cookie a web store remembers what a user has put into the shopping cart even if the user is not logged into the web store.
Third-party cookies on the other hand belong to the site that the user has not visited and are intended for tracking purposes.
When looking at the duration of cookies we can identify short-term cookies that exist just for a time of one session and persistent cookies that stay on the user’s disk permanently.
The cookies are not dangerous but they can be risky.
How to deal with cookies
- make sure your browser is updated – this advice is very general as it can protect you from many types of web threats
- avoid suspicious websites – prior to the visit of a web site it is good to surf the net about this site and learn if it is safe
- view and/or delete browser’s cookies – generally, a user has to enter the privacy part of the browser’s settings and explore the possibilities there
- use an ad blocker for your browser as it blocks cookies automatically