The first thing that you see when you enter a website is a consent form asking you if you accept cookies of various kinds. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) imposes this norm for the users’ security. In exchange, they can allow how much of their data is subject to tracking cookies.
If you are wondering what tracking cookies are, and how they affect your experience on the Internet, you have come to the right place! This short guide should clear the air on what is a tracking cookie, its marketing purposes and how you can disable it.
Tracking Cookies Explained
Normal cookies are small data files that record what a visitor does on a website. They remain on the visitor’s device, and the next time that they return on the website, they retrieve previously recorded information to improve user experience.
Tracking cookies are a complex form of cookies that compile information regarding the user’s behavior and interests when navigating the Internet. Websites can use them for legal marketing and advertising purposes.
What data do tracking cookies record?
Some people have a bad opinion about tracking cookies and mystify their existence or purpose. The truth is that most of the time, tracking cookies are necessary files that make the user’s interaction with a website seamless and effective. Some of the information that they track include:
- Language preferences
- Login and password entries
- Previous activity and interests
This data helps the website offer a personalized experience for every returning visitor. It also saves the user time and energy by not having to fill in their preferences every time they come back.
Are Tracking Cookies Safe?
Tracking cookies abide by the GDPR, so they are not harmful to your computer. Many consider them a necessary evil. On one hand, they vastly improve user experience. Conversely, they record data that some companies may use to influence consumer behavior and create sales urgency.
What is Cross-Site Cookie Tracking?
Tracking cookies can be first-party cookies, which means that they only regard a user’s interaction with a specific website.
However, tracking cookies can also be third-party cookies. In this case, they come from one website, but they track the user’s navigation and behavior across other websites as well. This practice is called cross-site tracking, and it is a way for websites and services to get more insight into a user’s activity and preferences.
How to find out if you have tracking cookies on your website
If you have a website, but you are not sure if it has cookies, you can use Cookiebot. This cloud-driven mechanism helps your site comply with GDPR legislation. It is a safe and easy solution for controlling cookies and trackers while allowing users to opt-out of certain forms of tracking.
How to remove or disable tracking cookies
You can easily remove or disable tracking cookies from your computer. Simply go to the Preferences / Settings section of your browser and select the viable options on display. All browsers offer their users the option to get rid of cookies. You will need to do this action after each time you use the internet on that specific device.