6 Advantages and Disadvantages of Cookies | Limitations & Benefits of Cookies on Website

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6 Advantages and Disadvantages of Cookies | Limitations & Benefits of Cookies on Website

6 Advantages and Disadvantages of Cookies | Limitations & Benefits of Cookies on Website
What are Cookies ?

Cookies are generally a file present on the hard drive that stores information related to sessions on the browser (Mostly in the form of text documents). Such information include remembering username and password, servers settings and other commonly used surfing habits. 

What is the use of Cookies ?

Most often these information will be used by the websites to understand their visitor better. Whenever a user browses the same page, they will be interacted based on their surfing history. With all the benefits, cookies does contain many drawbacks as well. Learning the pros and cons will help you use cookies in the right way.

In this article, I will be concentrating on 6 Advantages and Disadvantages of Cookies | Limitations & Benefits of Cookies on Website. Through this post, you will know the pros and cons of using cookies.

Let's get started,

Advantages of Cookies

1. User Friendly

Cookies are extremely user friendly. The client can choose what they need to do with cookies. All the browsers come with settings to clear history including the cookies. Manually users could find the cookies text files stored in the hard drive. Users can choose to edit and delete them.

2. Availability

Cookies can also set to be made available for a longer period of time. Once the cookies are stored on the user's hard drive, it will be available as long as the user deletes them manually. Even if the server fails, information can be retrieved from the cookies.

3. Convenience

Besides websites, cookies can also remember information related to forms. So each time the user visits the site, the address form will be filled automatically. However, cookies will not remember confidential information such as credit card info.

4. Marketing

Most companies, especially, e-commerce sites tends to use cookies to target products to their customers. Information such as search term, keywords and geographical locations are gathered for their marketing campaign. Even social networking sites like Facebook use cookies to show relevant ads.

5. Configurations

Cookies can also be configured as per the requirement. For an example, it can be made to expire once the user closes the browser tab or set to exist only for a specific period of time.

6. Server Requirement

All the data related to cookies are stored on the hard drive without the use of server resources. No extra load or weight is added to the server. Therefore, less burden is placed on them which makes cookies easier to implement.

Disadvantages of Cookies

1. Browser Impacts

Cookies are not restricted based on internet usage. Whenever a user surfs the web, more and more cookies will be accumulated. Unless the user deletes them, these cookies will be a part of the hard drive space. This eventually slows down or lags the browser.

2. Security Risks

Since cookies are stored in the hard drive as text files, it posses some serious security risks. Any intruder can easily open these files and view the information. And also, not all the sites that collect information from cookies are legitimate. Some of them can be malicious that uses cookies for the purpose of hacking. 

3. Size Limitations

Size limitations also exist on cookies. They cannot store large amount of information. Most cookies are able to store information only up to 4kb. Browsers too pose restrictions  when it comes to number of cookies. Except internet explorer, all other browsers only allow up to 20 cookies for a single website.

4. Privacy Concerns

Apart from security, privacy is another concern for users in cookies. Whenever the user browses the internet, the cookie enabled sites will be recording all the online activities. Most users are unaware that such information are stored on their hard drive. As a result, this information can be accessed by any third parties including government agencies and businesses. 

5. Manual Disabling

Browsers also comes with the option to disable cookies. Users who are highly security conscious could simply disable them. Even some browsers disable cookies automatically if the security level is set to high. Therefore, web applications will not work without cookies.

6. Encoding Information

Both encrypting and decrypting cookies is a difficult process since it requires additional coding. Due to the time involved in the encoding process, the application's performance will be affected.


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