Cookies are bits of code that are stored as files on a user’s computer by the server, to help remember information about the user. This technology is used to continuously deliver tailored pages to the user.
There are several types of cookies, and each type of cookie works differently.
Cookies, as we know them today, were written by Lou Montulli in 1994. Montulli was working for Netscape Communications, and based his cookie on the “magic cookie” which was already being used in computing. Montulli was granted a patent on his web communications cookie in 1998.
Cookies help create a good web browsing experience for users by personalization, and save the user time. Cookies know what the user usually browse for and can show related information. Cookies are also beneficial to businesses, and provide them with customer feedback.
The downside of cookies is the privacy concerns that they entail. Cookies store the personal information users put into websites, and monitor their online behavior. Marketers use this information to create targeted ads, and are by some considered an invasion of privacy.