Chances are, you’ve seen this message many times before while surfing the web. When the term cookie appears, I’m sure you expect a nice chocolate chip cookie to appear; however, internet cookies are not even physical objects but instead, trackers. As you continue to browse, chances are you tediously click “yes” and move past the pop-up cookie notice because, in the end, they’re not doing much.
An internet cookie is a tiny tracker that connects a user to a website and is set to remember certain information about you. It functions as an online ID card for you so that a website can remember your choices and activities.
A peskier example is third-party cookies and how they are used for companies and advertising. Ever go online shopping? I'm sure you have. Then the next day, you see ads for similar clothing to what you were looking at. That was thanks to cookies that were placed by advertisers who want to know what you're interested in, and in turn, serve you ads catered to your wants.
Don’t worry about cookies – they aren’t harmful. Cookies won’t download a virus or read the email you sent, but they will learn and store your personal data about your browsing habits. What about your privacy? Well, a cookie can’t steal your personal information, but after tracking what you do online, they can create a very detailed profile about you and your habits. So, it depends on how you define “privacy,” and what you consider is too much.