Should I Accept Cookies From Strangers? Yes and No
What Are Cookies?
Cookies are small text files holding simple information related to your website visit. Cookies are used for:
- Personalizing Content – By recording what items you’ve viewed or pages of a website you’ve viewed, the site owner can personalize content and ads to target your interests, making the website more appealing to you.
- Tracking – When shopping, cookies can mark what items you’ve looked at before, what things you’ve placed in the shopping cart while you continue to shop and eventually suggest other items in which you might be interested.
- Managing Your Sessions – Cookies allow websites to recognize your identity, login information and your site preferences.
The above are the most common uses of cookies. The two main types of cookies are “Session Cookies” and “Persistent Cookies.”
- Session Cookies – are stored locally on your computer in your RAM and not saved to your hard drive. These cookies are deleted when the session ends.
- Persistent Cookies – Unless persistent cookies have an expiration date, they remain on your computer indefinitely. Persistent cookies have two primary purposes:
- Authentication – These cookies provide information regarding who is logged into a site and under what credentials. They might even save passwords to make the user’s revisiting experience seamless.
- Tracking – These cookies might also be used to track multiple visits to a website, including pages visited, products purchased, videos watched, etc. As a result, a browsing history is created over time that provides the site-owner with a profile of the user.
Should I Accept Cookies or Not?
Which Are the Bad Cookies? Should I Start Blocking Cookies?
These are the most common cookies to avoid:
- Third-Party Cookies – If a window pops up and mentions anything about third-party cookies, do not accept. If you consent to the cookie, you are giving permission for the website to sell any data about you that their cookies have captured. Over time, your private data is shuffled around to so many websites you visit that cybercriminals can create a very detailed profile about you.
- When You Are Giving Private Information – If you aren’t sure about the security or legitimacy of a website and you might have to give private data, do not accept cookies. If you’ve accepted cookies already and have second thoughts, go to your browser settings immediately and clear all your cookies.
- When You Are on an Unencrypted or a Sketchy-looking Website – If it’s not a secure website and something doesn’t look right, trust your instincts.
- Think before you click. This rule applies to most cyber security. By being cautious and choosing not to “Accept Cookies,” the worst that will happen is that you will have to fill in login and other information every time. By taking more time, you might gain peace of mind. If you are on a trusted site that you’ve used many times, it is very likely safe to accept cookies. If you frequent a site and accept cookies when you do, you will have a more targeted and efficient experience.
Here Are a Few Defensive Tips:
- Try a Browser With More Private Browsing Options – Private Browsing and Incognito Browsing afford the user a much higher degree of protection. There are browsers, albeit slower ones, that also make privacy a primary feature.
- Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) – By using a VPN all the time, you will be cloaking your browsing experience by creating your own network within the network. Only the most determined and proficient cybercriminals will be able to navigate breaching your VPN.
- Get a Cyber Risk Analysis – It is crucial to secure your personal and business data. A cyber risk analysis by professional cyber security experts can determine your network vulnerabilities and offer advice if additional security layers are required.
DIGIGUARD Cyber Security Knows How to Best Protect Your Business Data
If you’ve already accepted cookies and shared your data with unknown entities, you know you have to take immediate steps to ensure it never happens again. If you have not yet fallen victim to a cybercrime, you should act now. You might be using some protective measures already. But as your business grows and adds more devices such as smart controls, wireless access and remote access, your network surface attack area for hackers grows, too. DIGIGUARD, which specializes in preventing cyber threats, has a wide array of solutions to protect against cybercrimes. It works with small and midsized businesses to establish cyber security best practices to ensure their confidential data has the best protection possible and that all users are on the same page. Many companies bound by strict compliance and privacy laws such as law firms, medical practices and financial service institutions cannot afford data breaches of any kind. For any business, cyberattacks can have devastating consequences. DIGIGUARD can assess your cyber risks and work with you to ensure you have the best protection solution for your business.
Call DIGIGUARD CYBER SECURITY at 833-33-CYBER (833-332-9237) and visit www.DIGIGUARDsecurity.com to increase your level of cyber security and protect your company’s and clients’ data.