Surely you’ve seen those pop-ups every time you visit a new website asking you to “accept all” or decline cookies.
First off what are cookies? Put simply a cookie is a small file that is placed on your computer by a website. These files can be as innocent as just caching your setting for dark mode on specific sites, to as malicious as aggressively tracking ALL of your browsing habits. So what do you do with this pop-up? Surely you just click the “accept all” button and go about your day right? Well you can if you’re not worried about any kind of tracking information being collected. However the better options is to select which cookies you allow.
The safe cookies to accept are the “required” cookies, which are also known as 1st party cookies. These are cookies that are required for you to view the website and save the settings for that site on your system. This is so that the next time you visit, it will keep the same preferences you had during the last visit, such as dark mode and your login information. These are the “innocent” cookies I mentioned before.
The cookies that you want to avoid are the third-party cookies. These are the cookies that allow for ad tracking and location tracking. These are the “malicious” cookies I mentioned earlier as well. Why are they malicious? Well have you ever searched for something out of curiosity and then all of a sudden EVERY website has ads related to that search? This is due to the tracking third-party cookies that you allowed when you selected “Accept All” button for convenience.
So how do you prevent these third-party cookies from getting on your computer? The best way to get around this is to customize which cookies you allow on your computer. This is usually a smaller or even hidden link around/next to the “accept all” button. Once you select this, you will then be able to select the cookies you want to allow. The strictly required cookies will most of the time be unable to be turned off, but every other cookie can be turned off.
Why does this matter? Some of these cookies can be used to link your browser/computer to a crypto mining network if you’re not careful about the sites you visit. So hopefully this brought some insight to what cookies are and how to deal with them. Depending on your browser, you can start over and remove all cookies. If you’re in need of assistance to assist with that, then give us at FCN a call and we can assist with that.
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