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september 2022
 

Cybersecurity & Cookies

When browsing the internet you may encounter pop-ups or other types of warning about the use of cookies. Some websites even allow you to choose whether or not to accept cookies in full or in part.

But first you need to know what cookies are.

Intro9
 
 

What are Cookies?

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Cookies are data stored in your browser that can contain various information that generates knowledge about your internet activity.

The main purpose of a cookie is to identify users and present them with personalised webpages according to preferences for easier navigation, as well as to save your website's login information. That's why sometimes when you return to a website, instead of seeing a generic welcome page, you get a personalised welcome, for example.

Some websites use cookies to store additional personal information. However, you can only do this if you have provided the website with it. Secure websites will encrypt personal data contained in cookies to prevent unwanted access by third parties.

 
 

Cookies and cybercriminals

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Cookies by themselves do not pose security risks, however, they can be used by cybercriminals to impersonate the user, collect financial data, access their accounts or to steal passwords that are stored in the browser. These can spread malware and induce you to visit dangerous websites. Cybercriminals can also use cookies to make websites appear inaccessible to web browsers.

Cookies can pose a serious threat to privacy. Marketing cookies have advanced significantly in their ability to track users over time, from simple tasks such as counting ad impressions, views and clicks, to limiting pop-ups and retaining the ad sequence. They can currently perform user profiling/tracking of website preferences.

 
 

How to be safe with Cookies?

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While cookies can be a security concern, with some care in online activity it is possible to avoid or minimise these dangers. Here are some suggestions for protecting yourself from the most dangerous features of cookies:

  • When exchanging personal information, always be cautious. Cookies have the potential to communicate such information, so proceed with caution.
  • Deactivate the storage of cookies in your browser. This reduces the amount of data exchanged, you can change your browser's privacy settings and avoid storing passwords in the browser.
  • There are browser add-ons that disable third-party software, such as cookie trackers, keeping your browsing data private. Always look for reliable and recommended add-ons.
  • Always keep anti-malware software updated on your device, as malware can impersonate harmless cookies or enter advertising networks.
  • If a website asks you to accept cookies and you are not sure if it is legitimate, stop browsing immediately.
 

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