Here's what happens when you accept cookies on a site

Here's what happens when you accept cookies on a site


When you accept cookies from a website, the website sends a small text file to your web browser which is then stored on your device (computer, phone, tablet, etc.). This text file contains information about your interactions with the website, such as your preferences, login information and browsing activity. 

The website can then read the cookie and collect the information it contains to personalize your experience, for example by remembering your language preferences, the contents of your shopping cart or your login information so that you do not have to log in each time you revisit the site.

Convenient for you, but also for targeted advertising

Cookies may also be used for analytics and advertising purposes. For example, the website owner can find out how many visitors he receives, which pages are the most popular, and how long visitors spend on the site. This information can be used to improve the functionality of the website and optimize its content.

It should be noted that cookies may also be used by third-party advertisers to track your browsing activity across multiple websites in order to provide you with targeted advertisements. This has raised privacy concerns and led to the development of privacy regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union and the California Consumer Privacy Act. (CCPA) in the United States.

Cookie = consent

When you accept cookies from a website, you consent to your information being collected and stored by the website owner or advertising company (if third party cookies). The data a cookie can collect about you varies by website, but here are some of the more common data, according to AllAboutCookies:

  • your IP address
  • your device type and operating system
  • your browser type and version
  • your browsing history and preferences
  • your location and language settings

Cookies are used for a variety of purposes, such as remembering your login information, personalizing your experience, tracking your behavior, delivering relevant advertisements or improving website performance.

If we refuse cookies?

You do not have to accept cookies if you do not wish to. You can refuse or manage them in your browser settings. However, some websites may not work properly or allow you to use their features if you refuse their cookies.

The risks behind cookies

Accepting cookies may pose certain risks to your privacy and security, especially if it involves third-party cookies that may track you across different websites. Here are some of those risks:

  • cross-site request forgery attack: A malicious website can trick your browser into sending a cookie to another website where you have an account, and perform actions on your behalf without your consent or without you knowing.
  • Session fixation: A hacker can place a cookie with a fixed session ID on your browser before you log in to a website, and then use the same session ID to access your account once you log in.
  • cross-site scripting: A hacker can inject malicious code into a website that can read or modify your cookies, and steal your personal information or hijack your session.
  • cookie throwing attack: a hacker can replace a cookie with a different value and cause errors or redirect you to a malicious website.
  • cookie overflow attack: a hacker can send a large amount of data to a website, exceeding the cookie size limit, and causing the website to crash or malfunction.

To protect against these risks, you need to be careful about which websites you accept cookies from and how long you keep them on your device. You should also use a secure browser that can block or manage cookies, and regularly scan your device for malware.

Use secure browsers

< p>Here are some of the safe browsers that handle cookies well:

  • Brave: A Chromium-based browser that blocks ads, fingerprints, and ad trackers by default. It also offers a built-in VPN and Tor integration for added privacy.
  • Firefox: A popular browser that offers many options for customizing privacy and security settings. It has standard tracking protection that blocks social media trackers, cross-site tracking cookies, and digital fingerprinting. It also supports extensions and add-ons for better control.
  • Ungoogled Chromium: A Chromium-like browser that removes all Google services and features that may compromise your privacy. It does not contain web services, binary blobs or pre-installed extensions. It also disables features that may send data to Google's servers, such as safe browsing and translation.
  • Mullvad Browser: A browser designed to work with the Mullvad VPN service. It's based on Firefox but has more privacy features, such as blocking WebRTC leaks, disabling telemetry, and enforcing HTTPS connections. It also has a built-in ad blocker and anti-tracking protection.
  • DuckDuckGo (my favorite): a search engine that is committed to protecting your privacy and providing you with unbiased results. It also has a mobile browser app that you can use instead of your default browser.

Here are some of the benefits of using DuckDuckGo browser:

  • it does not track your online activity or store your personal information, such as your data from your browsing history, your preferences, your location and your device. It also does not share your data with third parties or advertisers.
  • it blocks ads and trackers. DuckDuckGo browser has a built-in ad blocker that prevents annoying and intrusive advertisements from appearing on the websites you visit. It also blocks trackers who try to track you on the web and monitor your behavior. You can see how many trackers are blocked on each site with the Privacy Grade feature.
  • it uses the default DuckDuckGo search engine**. The DuckDuckGo browser uses its own search engine which respects your privacy and does not filter or personalize your results based on your profile. You can also use other search engines like Google or Bing if you want, but DuckDuckGo will always protect you from trackers and ads on those sites.
  • it has a “Burner Tab” function. The DuckDuckGo browser lets you open a temporary tab that automatically deletes all your browsing data when you close it. This feature is useful when you want to browse sensitive or private sites without leaving any traces on your device.
  • it encrypts your connections using HTTPS connections wherever possible, which means your data is encrypted and secure from hackers and snoopers. It also warns you if you are about to visit an unencrypted site that could expose your data.

Happy browsing!