When visiting a website, by default, a user’s device receives a cookie, the password is saved, and information flows freely. Today the Internet is a generalized information structure, the prototype of what is called the Global Information Infrastructure. Information that should be free and shared around the world.
Cookie and password packages
There are 7,634,758,428 people that populate this planet. More than half of them use the Internet actively. Visiting websites while browsing leaves certain information online.
While clicking on the website, the user is not aware of the chat that is taking place between a website and the user’s device. The computer presents itself on a website. Meanwhile, the website’s server is creating a special cookie for the guest to take home. It’s a virtual handshake and an introduction between the two, allowing the server to recognize that exact device the next time you visit.
Although the cookie looks like an empty shell, it contains simple information. A specific data exclusive only for that website and the user who visits it.
The information cookie contains:
The name of the cookie.
The value of the cookie.
· The expiration date of the cookie. That marks the date the cookie leaves the device.
The path of the cookie. Only the web server that sent the cookie can access it.
· Computer screen resolution.
The computer processor.
· Operating system installed on the computer.
Graphics card in the computer.
· The web browser from which the computer communicated.
The location of the device.
The general belief is that cookies store passwords. That may be true in some cases, but not all. The common knowledge is that it depends on the website. Most of them no longer save passwords. This is due to the secure website protocol. Which means that when the website uses https in its URL or website address, it means that it is protected. Any conversation that the website makes with the computer is protected and encrypted.
The packets that the website and the computer pass back and forth are firmly protected and encrypted. The information may contain cookies, passwords, and files. These interactions cannot be deciphered by an intruder. Which means that someone listening to the conversation at the next table cannot understand a word of what you are saying.
On the other hand, “cookie sniffing” is a well-known criminal act. The cybercriminal will inspect the cookie if they find it valuable and obtain any information it contains.
The Facebook and Cookie
Almost 2 billion users worldwide have a Facebook profile and 74% are North American users. Each user is monitored daily to obtain the information. On average, more than 3 websites will actively monitor a single user on Facebook, without their knowledge. This information is sent to the servers and user browsing slows down due to data transfers.
According to Facebook: “Technologies such as cookies, pixel tags (” pixels “), and local storage are used to deliver security, products, services, and advertisements, on and off Facebook. Your browser or device may allow you to block these technologies. But you may not be able to use some Facebook features if you block them. “
Therefore, most of the tracking is done through a cookie. Recent news announces that Facebook from now on will track even non-users on the Internet. So what exactly do cookies collect from users, as well as companies?
Contact information (such as full name and email address)
Demographic information (user and device locations, including specific geographic locations)
Username and password
Other information related to your work
All the content you create (share or publish in audio, video, text, images and other multimedia or software files)
Information that other people provide about you when they use Facebook (including when they send you a message or upload information about you)
Device information (computers, phones or other devices where you install or access the platform)
Connection information (including mobile operator and ISP)
Information received (here, including websites that are external partners of Facebook)
Facebook-owned companies also share this information with each other. These companies are Facebook Payments, Atlas, WhatsApp, Instagram, Moves, Oculus, Masquerade.
The truth is that these cookies cannot be viewed without the use of privacy software. Privacy software is very much like any other active monitoring application that scans hard drives and Internet browsers. Software like Identity Theft Preventer will search for and expose such data.
The web browser and the website cookie
When it comes to cookies and passwords, the internet browser is often the culprit. Which in turn is not entirely true, since it is the websites that decide what is saved. The browser simply provides the tools to perform an action. Again, this also depends on the security of the website.
The Internet browser is software like any other, it stores certain information so that it can function properly. Most of this information is stored in the browser’s installation folder. The files actually include website cookies and even saved passwords.
The website determines how long the user can stay connected. Most of them have a short time frame like banks. Banks, in general, also avoid saving passwords. Banks generally disable built-in password managers by adding the autocomplete = off parameter to the password input field. They consider it a security risk to store credentials for their services, which may be true in some cases.
However, many websites leave you logged in for a long time. Which means, for example, that you are logged into another computer that does not belong to you. You save a password by accident or otherwise and forget to log out. The computer owner or anyone who has access to it can see your password or account.
Cookies store information, the information it contains is encrypted and is not available to anyone except the website that uses it. However, unsecured websites have cookies that can be cracked and abused. Free information posted online and saved by the user is much easier to obtain and criminals know it. Logging out of websites, leaving as little information as possible, and clearing cookies is a safer way to actively participate in the digital world.