Cookies: To Accept or Decline?

[3 mins read]

Sounds delicious? The cookies we are referring to here are small pieces of randomly encoded text sent by the website you visit. They can track and collect data from the browser you used. Once accepted, cookies are stored on the browser of the device used to access the website. These cookies play an essential role in the world of technology by providing convenience and more personal touch to the websites you visit.

Surely, you have come across pop-up windows that informs you that the certain website you are visiting uses cookies and would ask that you accept it.

In case you didn’t know, you do not have to accept the cookies. Although some owners of the website may not allow accessing if you do not accept cookies, others still allows you to browse and access. Rules enforced by the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR) and Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) were developed to provide user control over sharing of these data and browsing history.

To decide if you should accept cookies, you must first understand what data these cookies may contain:

Benefits of cookies

  • Web access

Some website owners require you to accept cookies to access their websites. Web access will not be possible without accepting cookies in these websites.

  • Browsing experience

Cookies provides more convenience and efficient browsing experiences by remembering details such as items you left in your shopping cart, your name and other details used when logging in or filling out forms online. This would be extremely helpful for jumping back right in to continue your browsing when you revisit this website.

  • Filling in details

Cookies benefit website owners by personalizing their visitors’ browsing experiences, making it easier for them to fill in information on forms, and get information on these visitors.

Disadvantage of cookies

  • Computer speed

Cookies take up disk space in your computer, which can slow down your device over time.

  • Tied to device

The cookies you accept are tied to the specific device you use to browse the website and will be stored only on this device. It will not remember the details when you revisit the same website using a different device.

  • Privacy

Unless you are sure that no one else will ever use your device or browser account, your information such as browsing history and other details may be visible to others, unless you delete them. Moreover, your personal information such as login details, NRIC/ personal identification numbers, address, and contact numbers should be always kept private.

There are many types of cookies and they can be found everywhere. Cookies can be very helpful in optimizing the user experience for the website visitors and collection of data for website owners. Users should beware of where the line should be drawn. As much as it is convenient to auto-fill those fields for checking out your shopping cart online, it can also be damaging if these information falls into the wrong hands.

The next time you decided to accept cookies from a website, think twice if it is worth sacrificing your privacy for a little more convenience. Due to security reasons, we recommend that you decline accepting cookies from all unencrypted websites or unsecured websites and clear out cache and cookies in your browser regularly.

IT Tips | Cybersecurity | Cyber Safety

Nucleo Consulting