What is a Cookie?
A cookie is a small file that generally consists of letters and numbers which are downloaded to the memory of a computer, mobile phone, tablet when the user has access to a website. Its purpose is to store his preferences for a particular website, language or location. Therefore, the cookie is installed by a request issued by a server to a browser (e.g. Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox) and is completely "passive" (does not contain software, viruses or spyware and can not access information on your HDD). In other words, the cookie can be seen as an identification card announcing the website each time the user returns to it.
The purpose of Cookies
Cookies can provide a faster and easier interaction between users and websites and store personally identifiable information. When you sign in the authentication data is stored in a cookie. Subsequently, the user can access a website without having to login again. In other cases, cookies may be used for storing information related to the activities of users on a particular website so that it can resume those activities to a later access on it. Cookies tell server what pages must be shown to user so that it does not have to remember this again. Also, cookies can give websites the ability to monitor user's online activities and establish a user profile which can be used for marketing purposes.
Types of Cookies
1. One-Time Cookies
This kind of cookie is an identifier that allows user to move from one web page to another without the need to enter each time identification details such as username and password. These cookies are widely used by commercial websites to keep track the added products into user’s shopping cart. When visiting and selecting specific products, cookies retain and add them to the shopping cart that contains all selected items when user leaves the website. One time cookies are stored on user's computer only during a browsing session and they are automatically deleted when browser is closed.
2. Permanent, persistent and stored Cookies
Persistent cookies are stored on user's computer and are not deleted when browser session is closed. These cookies can retain user's preferences for a particular website so that they can be used in other sessions. Besides authentication, persistent cookies can retain details about language, selected topics and menu items of a website. When browsing a website for the first time, it is presented in the default mode. Subsequently, cookies can provide information about the number of visitors, the time spent on a particular page and generally details about a website’s performance.
3. Flash Cookies
If user has installed Adobe Flash on his computer then small files can be stored on it by websites that have this player. These files are known as "local shared objects" or "Flash cookies" and can be used for the same purposes as regular cookies.
4. First-Party Cookies vs Third-Party Cookies
Each cookie has an "owner" which tells you who the cookie belongs to. First-Party Cookies are placed by a website and they are accessed by user (whose address appears in the address bar of his browser). Third-Party Cookies are accessible to users only when information coming from a third party website is clicked (e.g. a banner published on the accessed website).
Itunexx.md uses two types of cookies: One-time cookies and permanent cookies. One-time cookies are temporary files that remain into user's terminal until the session or the application is closed. These files remain fixed on user's terminal for a period or until cookie parameters are manually deleted. Cookies can collect identifiable information that you disclose about yourself such as your profile picture or username. We will always be transparent with you about what information we gather and how we use it. Your visit on our website may place cookies for the next purposes:
1. Analyze the performance of our website
2. Provide demographic information about users such as age, gender, interest areas, language, region, prices and other details
3. Register on itunexx.md
4. Identify bugs and errors
5. Personalize your experience on our platform
6. Promote our advertising and of third parties
7. If you do not accept these cookies then the functionality of the website may be affected and the access to its contents may be restricted.
Information Security and Privacy
Although cookies are stored on user's computer they can not access other information on that device. Cookies are not viruses. They are just small text files and they are not compiled as codes and can not be executed. Thus a cookie can not copy itself and can not spread to other networks but can store personal information. This information is not generated by cookies but by users when they fill in online forms, register on certain websites, use electronic payment systems. Although the sensitive information is protected against an unauthorized access there may be situations when a person could intercept the informations which are exchanged between the browser and the website. Even if such situations are rare, they can occur when browser connects to a server using an encrypted network, such as an unsecured WiFi channel. Secure cookies are used for reducing the risk of cookie interception. Their purpose consists in limiting the communication of stored information and using only encrypted connections. Thus if a HTTPS website uses secure cookies then it prevents the transmission of information to a non-HTTPS website even if it is located at the same URL.
Why Cookies are important for Internet?
Cookies are the focus of an efficient functioning of Internet. They help generating friendly navigation experiences and are adapted to each user's interests and preferences. Refusing or disabling cookies can make some websites impossible to be used. Here are some examples about the importance of cookie usage (not requiring user authentication through an account):
-contents, services and offers
-Internet filters for children's protection (family mode options, Safe Search functions)
-limit advertising frequency and the number of times when publishing it for a particular user on a website
-provide relevant advertising to users
-optimization and analytics features such as estimating the traffic level of a website, what kind of content has been accessed and how a user arrives on a website (e.g. via search engines or directly from other websites)
Disabling and removing Cookies
Cookies are files created by the websites you have visited and the browser cache helps pages loading faster. If you clear cache and cookies then site settings (such as usernames and passwords) are deleted and therefore some websites might load slower because all images need to be reloaded.
Tips for a safe and responsible search based on Cookies
1. Customize your browser settings for cookies to reflect a high level of security.
2. If you do not mind cookies and you are the only person using your computer then you can set a timeout for your browsing history and accessing personal data.
4. Install and update constantly your anti-spyware. Many applications can detect and prevent a spyware including different attacks. This prevents browser about the access of vulnerabilities in websites or malicious software downloads.
5. Make sure you keep your browser updated.
Many attacks are based on exploiting the weaknesses of old browsers. Cookies are everywhere and can not be avoided if you want to enjoy the best and the biggest local or international websites. Understanding how they operate and what benefits they bring you can take the security measures so that you might have a trustworthy web navigation. Also refusing to accept cookies does not mean you will not receive / view online advertising. It is possible setting browser to avoid or accept cookies of a particular website. If you are not registered using cookies, you can not leave comments. All modern browsers offer the possibility to change cookie settings.These settings usually are located in your browser's "options" or "preferences". To learn more about cookies and what they are used for, we recommend the following links:
Microsoft Cookies guide
All About Cookies