This newspaper will discuss "how cookies are used on the Internet and the potential risks associated with cookies". The essay will clarify what computer cookies are, that they are utilized, the security conditions that are associated with cookies and whether are needed for Internet browsing. Processing cookies are used by many commercial websites to carry parameters when you jump through different internet pages, however, they can be used for additional sinister purposes. That is why a web browser allows a user to carefully turn the storing of cookies off.
A processing cookie is a data file which helps a server recognize who a customer is. When a user is surfing around the web, the server that provides the websites does not know who they are. This is not issues when the user visits static websites. However, whenever a user visits an interactive website that requires them to sign in or bear in mind a grocery list, the browser does need to remember who you are (Schneier, 2004:171). The reason for this is that, if it might not keep in mind who an individual is, then you'll have to sign in every time you visited another webpage within the same company's website and it could not remember a shopping cart when the internet browser moved from a main webpage to a checkout web page (All about cookies, 2011). The way it remembers these details is by by using a cookie.
A cookie comes in two forms; temporarily or continual. A temporarily cookie is stored in the browser's memory and is destroyed when the browser is turn off. This type of cookie is used therefore the server can keep in mind what activity has taken place within a website. This is useful by using an e-commerce website where there is a shopping cart because, the web site needs to remember what has been located in the shopping cart when an individual moves between pages and then ultimately to the checkout site. In case a cookie was not used the shopping cart software would appear clear every time a different webpage that was visited within the same website (All about cookies, 2011). A persistent cookie is stored on the computer's hard drive as a document; maybe it's stored for just about any amount of time that the server sets (Pfleeger & Pfleeger, 2006: 434). It can be used for keeping in mind login details and preferences so that each time a user trips a website, the server remembers their selections. A good example of this could be the vocabulary that the user has chosen to see the web site in (About cookies, 2011). The whole idea is to help make the browsing experience much more pleasant. Consistent cookies are also used to monitor web sites a user goes to; this is done to target adverts to specific users. Which means that "cookies can reduce the chance a 25 time old sole man is dished up an advertisement for diapers when he continues on his favourite sports activities site"(ARA, 2005). Many reputable sites including Google, Yahoo and Sesame Block use this method goal adverts (Penenberg, 2005). However, the method raises concerns about the privacy of users as profiling software can determine many different aspects of any user's identification with fairly good precision, things such as: gender, competition, age, income, faith, location, marital status, children, dogs and cats and erotic orientation. A general public outcry followed and because of this it has been possible to carefully turn cookies of in WEB BROWSER since version 3 (Kayne, 2011), which was released in 1996. In 2009 2009 the European Union passed a regulation on the way cookies are being used within websites based in Europe. The new law means that a cookie will not be allowed to be put unless an individual has been briefed about what it is designed for and how it works and also given their consent for this to be positioned (Chacksfield, 2009), the sole exception to the regulation will be if the cookie is purely necessary for the service the user has wanted like in the case of an e-commerce website (Robertson, 2009).
In finish if cookies are used for the purpose they were designed they are a good thing. They make the browsing of websites a much more enjoyable experience with the cookies keeping the user choices; this means a site customized to the users loves. They also provide a good system for marketers to target adverts to a particular user, meaning they see adverts for things they are simply much more likely to buy. As with anything over the network there are security hazards from cookie poisoning and the level of privacy concerns, however, with web browsers allowing cookies to be switched off the concerns can be defeat.