- Customize certain settings such as: the language in which a site is viewed, keeping contact details for various requests, keeping options for various services, saving certain preferences for future reuse.
- Cookies provide site owners with valuable feedback on how their sites are used by users, so that they can make them even more efficient and easily accessible.
- They allow multimedia or other applications on other sites to be included in a particular site to create a more valuable, useful and enjoyable browsing experience.
- Improve the efficiency of online advertising.
What is a cookie?
A cookie is a small file, consisting of letters and numbers, that will be stored on the computer, mobile terminal or other equipment of a user who accesses the internet. The cookie is installed by a request issued by a web server to a browser (eg Chrome, Firefox) and is completely “passive” (does not contain software, viruses or spyware and can not access the information on the user’s hard drive ). A cookie consists of 2 parts: the name and content or the value of the cookie. Moreover, the duration of a cookie is determined; technically, only the webserver that sent the cookie can access it again when a user returns to the website associated with that webserver. Cookies themselves do not require personal information in order to be used and, in most cases, do not personally identify internet users. There are 2 major categories of cookies:
- Session cookies – these are temporarily stored in the cookies folder of the web browser so that it can store them until the user closes the browser window or logs out of that site.
- Persistent Cookies – These are stored on the hard drive of a computer or equipment (and generally depend on the default lifetime for the cookie). Persistent cookies also include those placed by a website other than the one the user is currently visiting – known as ‘third
party cookies’ – which can be used anonymously to store a user’s preferences.
What are the advantages of cookies?
A cookie contains information that links a web browser (user) to a specific web server (website). If a browser accesses that web server again, it can read the information already stored and react accordingly. Cookies provide users with a pleasant browsing experience and support the efforts of many websites to provide comfortable services to users: eg – online privacy preferences, site language options, shopping carts or relevant advertising.
What is the lifetime of a cookie?
Cookies are administered by webservers. The lifespan of a cookie can vary significantly, depending on the purpose for which it is placed. Some cookies are used exclusively for a single session (session cookies) and are no longer retained once the user has left the website and some cookies are retained and reused each time the user returns to that website (permanent cookies). However, cookies can be deleted by a user at any time through the browser settings. Specifications about the duration of cookies are mentioned in the final summary table of those present / active.
What are third-party cookies?
Certain sections of content on some sites may be provided through third parties / providers (eg, a video, an advertisement, a chat application, etc.). These third parties may also place cookies through the site and they are called “third party cookies” because they are not placed by the owner of the website. Third party providers must also comply with applicable law and the privacy policies of the site owner.
How cookies are used by this site
Cookies provide users with a pleasant browsing experience and support our efforts to provide comfortable services to users through features such as online privacy preferences, shopping cart or relevant advertising. They are also used in the preparation of anonymous aggregate statistics that help us understand how a user benefits from our web pages, allowing us to improve their structure and content, excluding the user’s personal identification. A visit to this site may place the following types of cookies:
- Essential cookies
- Performance cookies
- Social media and advertising cookies
- Certain cookies, such as performance cookies or social media and advertising cookies, may come from third parties.
These cookies allow saving the preferences regarding the other types of cookies used, as well as accessing the basic functionalities of this site. They retain the user’s preferences on this site, so there is no need to set them each time they visit the site. Registration cookies are generated when a user registers on this site, in order to inform us later if the user is registered or not. Our servers use these cookies to show us the account you are registered with and to offer you an easier experience of interaction with the site. Other cookies that we place in order to allow you to make optimal use of the site are the cookies corresponding to the shopping cart and the Favorites lists (with the role of saving the information related to the products you have added to the cart or as Favorites), location cookies (used to set your location by IP, in order to pre-fill certain fields required for registration or placing orders), session cookies generated when accessed and automatically deleted when the browser is closed (necessary for the functioning of the HTTP protocol, filling in certain forms, interaction with certain elements of the site, etc.), cookies that recognize the type of terminal used – desktop or mobile, cookies of chat applications that allow real-time discussions with customer service.
They include both cookies from traffic analysis services, as well as cookies placed by certain third-party services that provide complementary functionality to the site. Traffic analysis cookies allow measurement of site traffic, identification of traffic sources, provide information about the most visited or least visited pages, and how users interact with the site. The listed information is collected in an aggregated manner and implicitly completely anonymous. These cookies may come from third parties such as Web Analytics services (Ex: Google Analytics).
Social media and advertising cookies
These can be placed through the site by the social media or advertising services we use. This type of cookie can be used by these services to determine a certain profile of visitors and to display relevant advertising messages on other sites you visit. They may come from third parties such as advertising services (eg AdSense, AdWords), social media platforms (eg Facebook, Instagram), etc. Due to the use of this site, this site cannot access these cookies from third parties, just as third parties cannot access the cookies held by this site. For example, when you share an article using the social media button on this site, that social network will record your activity.
What kind of information is stored and accessed through cookies?
Cookies store information in a small text file that allows a website to recognize a browser. The webserver will recognize the browser until the cookie expires or is deleted. The cookie stores important information that improves the Internet browsing experience (eg: keeping a user logged in to his user account; keeping products in the shopping cart; keeping products in the Favorites list).
Security and privacy issues
Cookies use plain text formats. They are not made up of pieces of code, so they cannot be executed or auto-run. Consequently, they cannot be duplicated or replicated on other networks to run or replicate again. Cookies may, however, be used for negative purposes. Because it stores information about users’ preferences and browsing history, both on a particular site and on several other sites, cookies can be used as a form of Spyware. Many anti-spyware products are aware of this and constantly mark cookies to be deleted during anti-virus / anti-spyware deletion / scanning procedures. In general, browsers have integrated privacy settings that provide different levels of acceptance of cookies, validity period and automatic deletion after the user has visited a particular site. Other security issues related to cookies Because identity protection is very valuable and represents the right of every internet user, it is advisable to know what possible problems cookies can create. Because through them information is constantly transmitted in both directions between the browser and the website, if an attacker or unauthorized person intervenes during the transmission of data, the information contained in the cookie can be intercepted. Although very rare, this can happen if the browser connects to the server using an unencrypted network (eg an unsecured WiFi network). Other cookie-based attacks involve incorrect cookie settings on servers. If a website does not require the browser to use only encrypted channels, attackers can use this vulnerability to trick browsers into sending information through unsecured channels. Attackers then use the information to gain unauthorized access to certain sites. It is very important to be careful in choosing the most appropriate method of personal information protection.
Tips for safe and responsible browsing, based on cookies
Install antispyware applications and update them constantly
Many of the spyware detection and prevention applications include site attack detection. This prevents the browser from accessing websites that could exploit browser vulnerabilities or download malicious software. Make sure your browser is always up-to-date. Many of the cookie-based attacks are exploited by exploiting the weaknesses of older versions of browsers. Cookies are everywhere and cannot be avoided if you want to enjoy access to the most popular sites on the Internet. With a clear understanding of how they operate and the benefits they bring, you can take the necessary security measures so that you can surf the Internet with confidence.
How can I stop cookies?
It is possible to configure the browser so that these cookies are no longer accepted or you can configure the browser to accept cookies only from a specific site. All modern browsers offer the ability to configure cookie storage preferences. These settings are usually found in the “options” or “preferences” menu of your browser. To understand these settings, you can use the browser’s “help” option for more details.
List of currently active cookies
The list of cookies for the website www.edmundo.ro are mentioned in the following table, with all the important information and characteristics:
|__cfduid||CloudFlare||Identifies trusted web traffic||1 year||US||HTTP|
|PHPSESSID||WordPress||Keeps the user’s session while browsing the site||Session||US||HTTP|
|wordpress_test_cookie||WordPress||Tests whether your browser supports cookies||Session||US||HTTP|
Statistical data category:
|_ga||Google Analytics||Records a unique ID that generates statistics about how a user uses the site||2 years||US||HTTP|
|_gat||Google Analytics||Limiting the access rate||Session||US||HTTP|
|_gid||Google Tag Manager||Records a unique ID that generates statistics about how a user uses the site||Session||US||HTTP|
|collect||Google Analytics||Send data to Google Analytics about the user’s device and behavior, tracking him on multiple devices and communication channels||Session||US||Pixel|
|ads/conversion/#||Google AdWords||Lists users who convert after completing a registration form||Session||Pixel|
|ads/user-lists/#||Google AdWords||Lists users who convert after completing a registration form||Session||Pixel|
|fr||Delivers targeted ads based on user behavior||3 months||HTTP|
|GPS||YouTube||Register a unique ID for mobile devices to allow GPS location||Session||HTTP|
|IDE||Google DoubleClick||Lists users who have interacted with the site after clicking on an ad to measure their effectiveness||2 years||HTTP|
|NID||Records a unique ID that identifies the user’s device||6 months||HTTP|
|test_cookie||Google DoubleClick||Verify that the user’s browser supports cookies||Session||HTTP|
|tr||Lists users who convert after completing a registration form||Session||Pixel|
|VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE||YouTube||Estimate user bandwidth on YouTube video pages||179 days||HTTP|
|YSC||YouTube||Records a unique ID that keeps statistics about user-viewed YouTube videos||Session||HTTP|