You probably just clicked on this page out of interest. Or so that you know what cookies actually are. This word appears again and again on the Internet, but no one explains directly what is actually meant by it. Time to enlighten you as a technology blog about these small files in your browser.
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First of all: Cookies have nothing to do with cookies. They are used on almost every modern website with certain functions. A cookie is to be understood as a small text file that is stored in the browser on your own computer. Here, websites and third-party providers can temporarily store some data about the user for certain functions.
An example: You log into a shopping website. Even after logging in, the server still needs to know that a previous login has already taken place. This saves a text file, a certain cookie, on your computer with a unique number (ID). On every page it is now checked whether this ID is still available - if not, you are logged out. If you were to deactivate cookies in your browser, you would be asked for your access data over and over again.
Cookies are also used to recognize a web user. Using so-called tracking cookies stored in the browser, the server can assign a new visit to exactly a certain person each time. If these files are deleted, however, the server has lost the "trace" of the user.
Cookies are used to recognize a visitor and to save certain settings about him without having to ask again.
A cookie consists of different elements. Usually these consist of a name, a value (content), domain, creation date, expiration date and path. This name is then required to "find" the cookie. When the cookie is set, so-called scripts usually query the content of the cookie and compare it. The expiry date describes the "shelf life" of a cookie. The cookie is automatically deleted as soon as this date is exceeded. As an expiration date, it is common to use values such as "when you close the browser", a month up to a year. In this way, cookies are "cleared out" again over time.
A cookie contains several parameters such as name, value, domain, creation date, expiration date and path. These are required for the server to query the cookie and for evaluation.
For our comment function, we save the name and e-mail address after a comment so that the comment box can be filled out automatically the next time. This means that this data does not have to be entered again and again when commenting on several times. In addition, we save a unique ID for the comment voting in order to recognize double votes.
We also use tracking tools to find out more about our target group and to recognize visitors. This is absolutely necessary for a correct number of visitors at the end of the month. We also save with the Unsubscribe from visitor tracking a cookie to save your choices for two months. Functions like these would not be feasible without cookies.
If you want to delete these cookies despite the essential functions of a website, this is also possible. Depending on the browser, there are different steps to completely empty them for all websites. After that, however, you have to log in again on all registered websites - any settings you have made on pages must also be made again. In the following, we describe the procedure for deleting a cookie for the most popular browsers (always the most recent version).
- Open the settings menu (:) at the top right
- Select the menu item "History"
- In the menu, select the option "History" again to go to the settings page
- Left column -> "Delete browser data" -> select "Cookies and other website data", optionally also the history itself
Mozilla Firefox (Firefox Quantum)
- Open Settings (:) at the top right
- Click on "Library"
- "Chronicle" -> "Delete latest chronicle"
- Select "All" and select or deselect certain items under "Details"
Microsoft Edge (version 41)
- Open the settings menu (...) at the top right
- Click the history icon in the ribbon
- Next to "History" select the three points (...) -> "Delete browser data"
- Click here directly on "Delete now" or optionally deselect items beforehand
With this article we hope to have given you a brief overview of how cookies work and how they are used. If you have any further questions or feedback, we look forward to hearing from you.