What are Cookies?
When we use a browser to browse a website, the web page often jumps out of the option of allowing cookies to record data. So, what exactly is the cookie? Let’s take a quick look. They are small pieces of data stored on your computer. Their role is to remember information about browsing activities, including your login information and network preferences. Secure websites usually have more secure cookies, but cookies on other websites do not have any encryption at all. When browsing the site, you can set the allowable presence of particular cookies to achieve the level of security you want. You can choose to save only your website information or completely block the saving of data.
Why do CooKies reveal our privacy?
Due to the existence of cookies, the browser will save a lot of personal information. Sometimes, it will bring users great convenience. However, at the same time, it will also pose a threat to the user’s privacy security. The information recorded by the cookie allows us to enter the website next time without having to enter the password again. The site will also recommend a large amount of relevant content based on our preferences. However, our data recorded by cookies also has the risk of being leaked.
Cookies from some https sites can be compromised through man-in-the-middle attacks. As standard, https has encrypted most of the content, but due to incorrect configuration of the target site, user data may also be leaked. The middleman, usually any HTTP site that is hijacked by a user, such as public Wi-Fi and ISP, inserts a script that causes the user to initiate an HTTP request for the target https site and then intercepts the request.
Cookies that add the secure attribute will only be sent under https, but if the cookie for the target https site does not have the safe quality added, the browser will also address the cookie that the user left before for the HTTP request. Since HTTP is plaintext, the intermediary can intercept the application to get the cookies. It is also exposed to the risk of revealing user information, even if the security of the website is high.
How to avoid this risk?
- Select no trace browsing. Most browsers provide seamless browsing. When browsing seamlessly, the browser won’t save your browsing history and will prevent websites from tracking you. When you use it, the browser will not collect your browsing data or activity traces, but the website and the network provider (ISP) will still see your activity. Therefore, seamless browsing is not comprehensive protection.
- Use VPN to handle network security issues. VPNs allow you to connect to the network through a virtual server. Therefore, the data sent between your device, and this server will be securely encrypted. Using VPNs can hide traces of network activity, and your network provider and any other groups that may be tracking you will not be able to know where you are, thus ensuring privacy.
- VPNs can also be used to access blocked websites, allowing you to browse sites that are not accessible at the company or school. X-VPN is available in free and paid versions; the paid version is as low as $5.99 a month.