What is Cookies?

Web Development Jargons Explained in 4 Different Ways

TLDR: Cookies are small data that are stored on a web browser to help websites keep track of your log in status, items in your active shopping cart, whether you are in dark mode, etc.


Explain like I only speak in plain English

Cookies are small data that are stored on a web browser to help websites keep track of your log in status, items in your active shopping cart, whether you are in dark mode, etc.

Apart from being used for essential things like authentication and user preference, it is also used for tracking. User browsing history can be stored in cookies and sent to ad networks so they can show you more relevant ads.

cookies.jpg

Cookies do so much more than just being a snack.

Explain like I'm a total nerd

A cookie containing a unique session id is sent from the server to the browser when a user first visits a website. This session id helps the website differentiate one user from another without them needing to log in.

If this was an online store, the user can add items to the shopping cart and have it remembered the next time he/she visits the website again. As long as the session cookie is not deleted.

The website stores the shopping cart data in the server, linking it to the unique session id. When the user visits the online store using the same browser in the future, the session cookie is sent to the server and the shopping cart data is sent back along with the web page.

You can experience this by visiting online stores or flight searchers and try to add items to the shopping cart or search for a flight. Leave the site then come back to it using the same browser, you should see your previous activity still there.

Explain like I like videos

Explain like I already know it

With the enforcement of GDPR, General Data Protection Regulation, on 25 May 2018, all websites are now required to receive informed consent from European Union users before any identifier cookies are used. This includes session cookies, tracking cookies and most other cookies.

EU users also need to be able to edit their cookie consent settings anytime they want. This is a complex feature to implement, and can be hard to achieve by small independent websites.

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