Everything Writers Who Have Websites Need To Know About Cookies | Web Design Relief

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We all have our favorite type of cookie: chocolate chip, snickerdoodle, thin mint—just to name a few! But when it comes to computers, many of us have absolutely no idea what a “cookie” is or what it does. Just what are Internet cookies? Are they dangerous? Should I have cookies on my author website? Are they tracking my personal information? Do they come in tasty flavors? So many questions! Fortunately, Web Design Relief is here to explain everything you need to know about these digital cookies.

FAQs About Internet Cookies And Author Websites

What is the definition of an Internet cookie?

An Internet cookie—also known as an HTTP cookie, web cookie, or browser cookie—is a small packet of data that is transferred to and from computers. When you visit a website, a cookie is sent from the website to your computer via your web browser. The cookie consists of various information that helps the website keep track of your visits and activity. Each request you make via your browser is separate, so cookies help websites keep track. For the most part, this is harmless and even beneficial: Without cookies, retail websites could not keep track of the items you left in your shopping cart, and music-streaming sites would be unable to recommend songs or to play your favorite playlists.

What data is contained in a cookie?

Most cookies only contain data about your browser and the last time you visited a website. For websites that require you to log in, the cookie will contain that login information so the site can remember who you are and your preferences. This is how websites know who you are when you return to them. Without cookies, you would be met with a more generic welcome screen, instead of being greeted with your name, your personalized layout, your most recently viewed items, etc.

Are Internet cookies dangerous?

No. Cookies cannot transfer viruses or malware, because the data doesn’t change when it travels between computers. However, a virus can be disguised as a cookie! Fortunately, most browsers and anti-virus software will block these. This is why it is highly recommended that you keep your anti-virus software active and updated so it can protect you when you’re accessing the Internet!

Are cookies really spies?

Internet cookies only contain information that you’ve given the site already. This information is not shared between the websites you visit. And while cookies can track which ads you have viewed, they don’t directly create those ads.

Some people might want to get rid of cookies, but be forewarned: Cookies help some websites work properly.

Should I use cookies on my author website?

If you want your audience to have a personalized experience on your website, or if visitors make purchases on your website, then you should utilize cookies. When your website uses cookies, your visitors won’t have to repeatedly enter their user data when they visit your site, and their shopping carts won’t empty every time they browse to another item! If your site is purely informational and does not offer visitors any purchasing or personalization options, then you do not need to use cookies.

If you don’t have an author website but are thinking it’s time you got one, schedule a free consultation with Web Design Relief today!

In the meantime, don’t worry about Internet cookies. Sit back, grab a glass of milk, and enjoy a few cookies—the yummy kind!

 

Question: What are your experiences with Internet cookies?

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