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Are there any risks in enabling the cookie?

Are there any risks in enabling the cookie?

December 24, 2020 0 By carolc

It is common to enter a website and have a pop-up asking us if we accept the website’s cookie policy. In some cases, the site gives you permission to select which cookies you want to allow and which not.

The truth is that many users do not know what it is and what it is for. Which can be a risk to your personal information and your virtual security. Therefore, be very careful when enabling cookies on the site.

Do you know the reason for the existence of cookies and how they are used by browsers?

What are Cookies?

Cookies are an essential technology on the internet that shows companies, in summary, from the activities that their users are doing in the online world.

When cookies are not protected, they can be managed for situations that compromise security.

In summary, cookies are text files that when you access the website, the website will place on your device. They by themselves do no harm, on the contrary, they facilitate operations such as shopping carts.

That is, when you enter a website, there are exchanges of communication between your browser and the website, in the response that your browser receives, comes the communication response along with the cookie. It is used for language identification, saving the login and password, among other factors.

In what situations is the risk evident?

It is not possible for a malicious file to infect cookies, because as mentioned, they are just text files, they do nothing but save texts, they do not perform any type of execution. However, depending on the way they are shown, it can be a risk.

Imagine that these cookies can be stolen by malicious people, and like him in the wrong hands, he can access the site posing as you and doing a lot of damage.

We will show some ways for attackers to do this.

The capture of cookies on insecure channels

By default, they must be securely authenticated. Your transmission must be through the Security Flag. In some cases, the cookie is seen as a flag, a secure flag, and informs the browser that it can only be verified using security certificates, such as SSL.

If this flag is not secure, communication is done without any security technology, such as encryption, and that when visiting any website, the criminal can spy on information and use it to access restricted areas. 

Session fixation

This attack happens when there is a session identifier when you are going to make a query type. The criminal can send a website with an identifiable manipulated to steal the information. In this way, every time the user browses that site, the criminal accesses the session posing as you.

Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)

This technique allows you to search for all the information that your cookie has stored. When you click on an unknown link, the criminal through codes, such as the JavaScript programming language, can configure your browser to send cookies to a website where it can store all information.

Always read about cookies and privacy 

It is still a very controversial subject when it comes to privacy and cookie tracking. The way they are used has changed over time. They are widely used to classify user profiles in marketing campaigns.

You can see how many clicks were given, views and ad impressions. This makes it easy to track users’ information.

Another factor that should also be on the alert is the use of third party advertisements in large quantities. Technologies like Google Adsense and Adwords are being a big issue for groups that try to guarantee users’ privacy when browsing online.

As a result, there are developments in several countries that are seeking to prevent online consumers from being abused through these technologies. 

What should you do, then?

Enabling cookies can be safe. This tool informs a lot of important data for online platforms that are very useful.

So, leaving them disabled may not be as comfortable. Everyone’s goal should always be to ensure that they are used safely. There are ways to further increase security, such as leaving the HttpOnly flag enabled.

In this way, the cookie is prevented from browsing through unencrypted communication, minimizing the risk of being stolen.

There are practices that can help you further protect yourself. Always leave your browsers on the latest version, with this the most advanced browsers are the permission to delete and block cookies.

There are also some plug-ins that you can use in your browser that control access to these cookies and also make exclusions automatically. With this, you increase the privacy of your data on the internet.