Mmuuh… What are cookies?

O que são cookies

In order to unmask exactly what cookies are, it´s important first to distinguish between what’s a server computer and a client computer.

Server is the computer where the website we are visiting is hosted.
The client computer is the computer that we are using to access the site.

It’s also important to notice that each time we access a website, this connection, is a new connection in the eyes of the server computer, no matter how many we had visited that same site before.

That is, in a very simplistic way, whenever our computer asks a server to show a page/site, this connection/request is always new and independent of the previous connections.

This is one of the definition pillars of the web http protocol, which supports the web.

In other words, the http protocol is stateless, does not maintain state, so the connection between client computer and computer is not maintained over time.

In this way, when we go back to visit the same website, in the eyes of the server computer, it’s as if we are there for the first time and we are a complete stranger, who had never been there before.

Let’s imagine a scenario:
We go to an international e-commerce site and abandon the site in the middle of the process of buying a product.

Later when we go back to the site, we are able to continue the process of buying the intended product exactly where we left.
In addition, the site also remembers which navigation language was choosen.

But how is this possible if the connections to the site server computer are stateless?

This is where cookies come in!
What actually happened when you visited the online shop for the first time was that the server sent a small file to your computer that was housed in your web browser.
Thanks to this cookie, you can be recognized the next time you visit this same site through the server, and you will not have to enter all your details again.

In a nutshell, cookies customize and speed up your web experience.

Advantages and disadvantages of cookies
On one hand, we love cookies since they ease our navigation and allow us to be recognized much faster on different websites.

On the other hand, sometimes we may not like the use of cookies, especially for sales or marketing purposes. In fact, certain cookies analyze our purchases and/or behaviour, and the resulting information can then be analyzed and used as a marketing tool (eg.: Google Analytics).

One of the few ways this server computer remembers who we are and where we were, is through the use of cookies that this server computer installed on our computer (more specifically in our browser) and thus let us continue where we were.

Cookies are therefore data packets sent by a site to the user’s browser /computer when the user visits the site

Thus cookies allow websites/servers to remember user information such as saved passwords, items added in the shopping cart in e-commerce stores, among other things.
This way the navigation is much easier and efficient.

So each time the user visits the site again, the browser/ computer sends the cookie back to the server to notify the user’s activity history on that site.


Session cookies: They expire when we close the browser (or if we are inactive for too long). A good example of this use is when we are on a sales website so that we can continue our browsing without losing the products we have already put on the cart.

Permanent: These persist even after we close the browser.
These are used to remember your passwords and login so you do not have to re-enter them every time you re-enter a website.

Another possible example is to “remember” the server which is your preferred language for viewing the website.

Third-Party Cookies: Unlike usual, these cookies do not originate from the site where the user is located.
Third-party cookies are created by other websites.
Therefore the site that the user is visiting contains content from a third site, such as ads, images, analytical tools, etc …

We are interested in your experience with cookies.
For example: what bothers you about cookies? Do you have any cookies control tools?

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