So you’ve been surfing the web looking to buy a Holiday gift for someone special and since you’re awesome at finding the best deals, you shortly finalize your purchase and move on. But, when it comes to targeting of internet Ads, your search is not over…
But, What about Cookies…?
It’s been a few days already and you still see Ads about something purchased last week on every website you visit. Makes you wonder if someone or something is watching you…
If you are not computer savvy you may wonder how do they know that I’m interested in this product? The short and sweat answer is lots of Cookies. I assure you, this is not Cookie Monster writing this article.
You get Cookies every time you search the internet or visit any websites, and yes, even your passwords are stored as Cookies. Cookies are files/data permanently downloaded to your PC as part of accessing the internet. Although, they are also called “temp files” by PC standards, they are permanent unless you purposely delete them.
To be fair some of them are set to expire…
The way Ads are displayed is directly related to what Cookie data has to say about you. This is precisely how Ads know what to display; but it does not know if you had already made the purchase, which is the biggest downfall of Targeted Ads.
It equals to huge loss of money for the company invested in purchasing Ad space.
But, we are not here to get depressed about other people losing money. There is a privacy risk involved in Cookie tracking and allowing other sites to access and store our personal data.
If a hacker had access to your PC, the first thing they might look for is Cookies, browsing history and saved passwords. Unfortunately, there is no best way to stop Cookies from being downloaded to your PC, and some websites will not work without them.
Sure, some Cookies may be innocent enough as they only serve to make your life easier by auto populating certain things. For example; email addresses and login information. Luckily, you can setup your PC to auto delete all of the Cookies upon browser exit, on daily, weekly or monthly intervals; which is something I would highly suggest.
My best suggestion is to never allow a website or your browser to remember your passwords. Be sure to check your browser settings because sometimes it will do so without a prompt.
In the end, you can use your best judgment as it comes down to trust…internet is an open platform.