What are the cookies that are released on computers by Internet sites, how to see them, know if they are dangerous and delete them
Cookies are an important component of modern navigation and can be accepted and rejected, with various repercussions on the experience we will obtain on the site. In the following guide we will show you what are cookies and what changes if we accept all cookies or refuse their installation.
READ ALSO -> Protect your privacy on the internet and see what the web knows about you
1) What are cookies?
Cookies are text files that are created when you visit a website; they are used to store specific information regarding the interactions between our browser and the website.
In this way we can revisit the same page while maintaining the user experience we had when we first accessed itwithout having to repeat all the steps (for example we can demonstrate that we are already logged into the PC or that we prefer only some pages in the home page).
Cookies generally have an expiration date: after a certain period of time they are automatically deleted if they are not periodically renewed; this explains why, if we do not open a site for a long time, we will have to log in again with our account or repeat the configuration steps.
To this we add that in the European Union there is the so-called Cookie Law GDPRwhich obliges sites to show the cookie window, as well as being able to indicate what to show, what to remove and where the information collected is saved, so as to protect the privacy of European citizens as much as possible.
2) Do I have to accept all the cookies on the site?
For most sites cookies are not harmful and represent only a method of providing services via the Internet, facilitating communication between users and the chosen site.
The main problem with cookies is related to user privacy: as mentioned in the previous chapter, many cookies save our browsing preferences (even between various sites), so as to provide advertising targeted to our interests.
In this case, pressing Accept All will authorize the sites to download all the profiling cookies provided by the service, providing a lot of information about personal navigation. This is not a problem on secure sites or on sites we trust, but it could become a problem if we press Accept all even on unknown sites, sites of dubious origin or sites compromised by hackers.
3) Are cookies dangerous for the PC?
Cookies can become a threat to browsing only if they are intercepted and modified by malware or a hacker: in these cases cookies can be used to recover access to personal sites, access secure accounts and even modify web pages, so you can control every part of your browsing.
Per detect and delete dangerous cookies we recommend that you scan your PC periodically with an effective anti-spyware program such as Malwarebytesable to immediately show the modified or dangerous cookies for the user’s navigation.
If we want to try other antispyware we can read our article about how to protect pc from spy software.
4) How to filter unwanted cookies
To filter unwanted cookies can be a good idea visit new sites in incognito modeso as to avoid any type of unwanted profiling (just close the browser and we will delete all cookies installed incognito).
It can be a good idea to always start a browser in incognito mode, perhaps to use every time we need to hide our tracks; in this regard, we invite you to read our guides on how to open chrome and firefox always incognito and on best browsers with free VPN included.
If we want instead investigate the cookies that are stored in all browsers used we can download and install the program like WebCookiesSnifferwhich allows you to intercept all cookies on your PC, so you can analyze suspicious ones and delete those with an expiration date too far in time.
To get the most out of trusted and secure websites we recommend that you activate all the cookies offered, thus choosing Accept all, Accept or Accept All as soon as we see the cookie bar appear.
On sites that we have never visited before, recommended by email or present in chat or on social networks, we can also refuse the proposed cookies, pass only strictly necessary cookies or use the browser in anonymous mode to immediately block the most insidious ones.
To learn more about the privacy aspect of web browsing, we can read our guides on How to block website tracking and on best private browsers and without data tracking.