Nowadays, when you visit any website, you will instantly see a banner up at the bottom of the webpage asking to “accept all the cookies”. Typically, you, as a user, tend to accept instantly to get rid of this annoying text box. Many of you usually do not know how to turn down such mysterious cookies or are unaware of the important ways how to configure them. Note that opting for the best broadband in Bangalore, Delhi, Kolkata, or any other city is not enough till you know the tricks of better using the internet on the website. Discussed here are how you can control cookies and what would happen if you do not bother.
Cookies – What are they?
Every site accumulates information regarding you as well as your activities and stores such info on your laptop or smartphone device in the form of a file. Such files are known as cookies. Basically, cookies can do major 3 things –
- Make the site more convenient for you as a user
- Assist the site in working reliably
- Track, the activities of visitors
Let’s begin with the convenience angle. For instance, a hotel site that reserves bookings can remember what payment mode, payment details and currency you earlier chose to opt for. And if you select the option ‘remember me’ on any social media or communication login page, you will not require inputting your username as well as a passcode every time you approach. When you return to a site, it checks your electronic device for the associated cookies, identifies you and allows you to access your account automatically, as it auto-saves most of your details.
However, in addition, to such features and benefits that are useful for you as a website visitor, such cookies endow services to harvest your data to make suggestions and, based on them, display targeted advertisements. Such cookies might belong not only to the site’s owner but even to businesses or ventures with which they are a partner. The latter are known as 3rd party cookies, and they fundamentally are the basic reason for many to state that cookies are a tracking tool.
In the effort to get to the info you are searching for on a site, you may hit on ok or accept all immediately to close the annoying cookie box, even if there is an option mentioning accept only the mandatory ones or not accept. Few of you may be careful in reading such notifications and select the correct, i.e., preferred option, but very few take the next measure to configure the website’s cookies.
Developers usually tend to promote and encourage you as a user to hit on the option “accept all” and make this button bright and big than the customise settings option, which is less noticeable. Here the attempt by a few sites is to make the cookie management system complex to encourage you to hit on the “accept all cookies” option without reading the terms and conditions much.
Here’s an experiment conducted to show you how the cookie configuration work. The primary interest is to answer the questions listed below –
- When you use the internet and through it enter a site, does the site reveal that it is using cookies to collect your data?
- Do you get the option to not accept the cookies?
- How do the settings that you choose on-site impact the cookies stored?
- Is the configuration of cookies an easy and quick process?
This experiment was conducted by Kaspersky using an extremely smooth, steady, and strong WIFI connection. Basically, they chose 32 sites for their experiment. 10 were mass media websites, 8 belonged to private setups, 4 belonged to sports and cultural organisations, 4 were educational sites, 2 were government sites, and 4 fell into other categories.
Before approaching every site, they cleared all the cookies from the personal computer so that the website would assume they were a new visitor using the internet on the specific computer for the first time. They then visited a site and checked to view if any cookies were present on the electronic device and in case yes, then which one.
Does every site allow you to configure the cookies?
Out of the 32 sites that they looked at, 14 didn’t mention the usage of cookies or did not offer a choice to configure them. Additionally, right after they opened the sites, they stored all the cookies. Next, they checked if the websites provided any other way to manage the cookies. To do so, they reviewed their privacy policies and conditions and found that it was possible to block the site from accumulating as well as using your data. Based on the site, they had 1-2 options, either contact directly to the marketing teams of the site or address a mail to the website administrator and ask not to track their details and information.
If the site allows you to set up the cookies, then what will happen?
Out of the 32 sites, they noticed 18 permitted them to customise the cookies. An unpleasant surprise was 7 sites foisted cookies on the users instantly upon entering the site. In simpler words, they did not get the chance to take the decision to accept the cookies or reject them.
The best way here is to open websites in incognito mode. Visiting the sites through incognito does not store cookies. This is useful if, for instance, you need to go online from a personal computer that is not yours. To conclude, the experiment showed that you must use the setting menu to disallow the cookies. To protect yourself from tracking attempts, you can use incognito mode. So, you see, most modern browsers permit you to determine whether to accept the cookies and even the time horizon till you want to keep all of them active. However, you can even set your chrome browser or other browsers to prompt you every time any cookie is added to you.
So, now you know once you connect to a WIFI connection in Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, or any other city, how you must control and configure the cookies. This is because once you set up a WIFI connection at your home, the next immediate step you take is to visit a site of your choice and preference. Most sites contain cookies that collect your information. So, you must ensure to follow the above-mentioned tips and steps so that you know how you can reject cookies or manage them.