What is a cookie?
A “Internet Cookie” (also known as “cookie browser” or “HTTP cookie” or simply “cookie”) is a small file of letters and numbers that will be stored on your computer, other equipment of a user on which the Internet is accessed.
The cookie is installed through a web browser’s browser request (eg Internet Explorer, Chrome) and is completely “passive” (it does not contain software, viruses or spyware and can not access the information on the user’s hard drive) .
A cookie consists of two parts: the name and the content or the value of the cookie. Furthermore, the duration of a cookie is determined; technically, only the webserver that sent the cookie can access it again when a user returns to the website associated with that webserver.
Cookies themselves do not require personal information to be used and, in most cases, do not personally identify Internet users.
There are 2 large categories of cookies:
- Session Cookies – they are temporarily stored in the web browser’s cookie folder so that they store them until the user exits the site or closes the browser window (for example, when logging in / out on the site or on networks socialization).
- Persistent cookies – These are stored on the hard drive of a computer or equipment (and generally depends on the default cookie lifetime). Persistent cookies include those placed on a website other than the one the user is currently visiting – known as ‘third party cookies’ – which can be used anonymously to memorize the interests of a user, so that advertising is delivered as relevant as possible to users.
What are the benefits of cookies?
A cookie contains information linking a web browser (user) and a specific web-server (website). If a browser accesses that web-server again, it can read the already stored information and react accordingly. Cookies provide users with a pleasant browsing experience and support the efforts of many websites to provide comfortable user services: ex – online privacy preferences, site language options, shopping carts, or relevant advertising.
What is the lifetime of a cookie?
Cookies are managed by web servers. The life of a cookie may vary significantly, depending on the purpose for which it is placed. Some cookies are used only for one session (session cookies) and are not retained once the user has left the website and some cookies are retained and reused whenever the user returns to that site (‘cookie- permanent ‘). However, cookies can be deleted by a user at any time through browser settings.
What are cookies placed by third parties?
Certain sections of content on some sites may be provided through third parties / providers (e.g., social networks or advertising). These third parties may also place cookies through the site and they are called “third party cookies” because they are not placed by the owner of that website. Third-party vendors must also comply with the applicable law and the site’s privacy policies.
By browsing qfort.com, these cookies may come from the following third parties: Google, Facebook.
How cookies are used by this site
A visit to this site may place cookies for purposes of:
- Site performance cookies
- Visitor analysis cookies
- Cookies for geotargetting
- Recording cookies
- Cookies for advertising
Cookies for Visitor Analysis
Cookies for geotargetting
These cookies are used by software that determines which country or area you come from. It is completely anonymous and is only used to target the content – even when you are on our page in Romanian or in another language you receive the same advertisement.
Cookies for registration
When you sign up for this site, we generate a cookie that tells us if you are registered or not. Our servers use these cookies to show us your account and if you have permission for a particular service. It also allows us to associate any comment or review you post on our site with your username. If you did not select “keep me registered,” this cookie will automatically delete when you close your browser or computer.
Cookies for advertising
These cookies let us know whether or not you’ve seen an online ad, what is its type, and how long it has been since you saw the ad message. These cookies are also used to target online advertising. We may also use 3rd-party cookies for better advertising targeting, for example, showing holiday ads if the user has recently visited an article on vacancies. These cookies are anonymous, they store information about the viewed content, not the users. We also set up anonymous cookies through other sites that we advertise. By accepting them, we can use them to recognize you as a visitor to that site if you later visit our site, we will be able to deliver advertising based on this information.
Why are Internet Cookies Important?
Cookies are the central focus of the efficient Internet, helping to generate a friendly browsing experience and tailored to the preferences and interests of each user. Denying or disabling cookies can make some sites unusable. Denying or disabling cookies does not mean you will not receive online advertising – just that it will no longer be able to keep track of your preferences and interests highlighted by your browsing behavior.
Examples of important uses of cookies (which do not require authentication of a user through an account):
- Offers tailored to users’ interests – remembering passwords, language preferences (Ex: displaying search results in English).
- Retrieve Child Protection Filters for Content on the Internet (family mode options, safe search functions).
- Limit ad serving frequency – limit the number of impressions of an ad for a particular user on a site.
- Provide more relevant advertising for the user.
- Measurement, optimization and analytics features – such as confirming a certain level of traffic on a website, what type of content is viewed, and how a user reaches a website (eg through search engines, directly from other websites etc.). Websites run these analyzes of their use to improve sites for the benefit of users.
Security and privacy issues
Cookies are NOT Viruses! They use plain text formats. They are not made up of pieces of code so they can not be executed or can auto-run. Consequently, they can not duplicate or replicate on other networks to run or replicate again. Because they can not perform these functions, they can not be considered viruses. Cookies can still be used for negative purposes. Because it stores information about user preferences and browsing history, both on a particular site and on several other sites, cookies can be used as a form of Spyware. Many anti-spyware products are aware of this and consistently mark cookies to be deleted in anti-virus / anti-spyware removal / scanning procedures.
In general, browsers have built-in privacy settings that provide different levels of cookie acceptance, shelf life, and automatic deletion after the user has visited a particular site. Other security issues related to cookies Since identity protection is very valuable and is the right of every Internet user, it is advisable to know what problems can create cookies. In order to transmit constant information in both ways between the browser and the website, if an attacker or unauthorized person intervenes during the data transmission, the information contained in the cookie can be intercepted. Although very rarely, this can happen if the browser connects to the server using an unencrypted network (eg an unsecured WiFi network).
Other cookie-based attacks involve bad cookie settings on servers. If a website does not require the browser to use only encrypted channels, attackers can use this vulnerability to prevent browsers from sending information through insecure channels. Attackers then use the information for the purpose of unauthorized access to certain sites. It is very important to be careful in choosing the most appropriate method of protecting personal information.
Here are a few tips that can help you navigate safely with cookies:
- Customize your browser settings for cookies to reflect a comfortable level for your cookie security.
- If you do not mind cookies and you are the only person using your computer, you can set expiration dates to store your browsing history and personal access data.
- If you share your computer access, you can consider the browser setting to delete your individual browsing data each time you close your browser. This is a way to access sites that place cookies and delete any business information when you close the browsing session.
- Install and constantly update your antispyware applications. Many of the applications for detection and prevention of spyware include the detection of attacks on sites. This prevents the browser from accessing websites that could exploit browser vulnerabilities or download dangerous software. Make sure your browser is always up-to-date. Many of the cookies attacks are exploited by exploiting the weaknesses of the old versions of browsers.
Cookies are everywhere and can not be avoided if you want to enjoy access to the best and greatest websites on the Internet – local or international. With a clear understanding of how they work and the benefits they bring, you can take the necessary security measures so you can browse with confidence on the internet.
How do I stop cookies?
Disabling and refusing to receive cookies can make some sites unfeasible or difficult to visit and use. Also, refusing to accept cookies does not mean you will not get / see online advertising anymore.
It is possible to set up the browser so that these cookies are no longer supported or you can set the browser to accept cookies from a particular site. But for example, if you are not registered using cookies, you will not be able to leave comments.
All modern browsers offer the ability to change cookie settings. These settings are usually found in your browser’s “options” or “preferences” menu.
To understand these settings, the following links may be useful, otherwise you can use the browser’s “help” option for more details.
For more information about cookies, their disabling and what they are used for, we recommend the following links:
- Your Online Choices
- Microsoft Cookie Guide
- Everything about Cookies
- Cookie settings in Internet Explorer
- Cookie settings in Firefox
- Cookies Settings in Chrome
- Cookie Settings in Safari