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Cookies, Privacy, Vulnerabilities

Cookie Monster! The RingVPN guide to cookies

Cookies. They sound so tasty, don't they? Cyber cookies aren't yummy baked goods. Rather, they are little packets of (non-edible) information that you may or may not want to share. Like the real-life kind, there are good cookies, and not so good cookies. Let's look at the main kinds and figure out how to delete the bad kind, and keep your online privacy intact with RingVPN.

What are cookies? The good, the bad, the annoying, and the ugly

There are 4 types of web cookies, broadly speaking. Most commonly, you'll be dealing with:

1) Session cookies:

These live in your computer's temporary memory. They don't have a specific date of expiry, rather they stick around for as long as you are browsing that particular web page. They get created when you enter a website, and get permanently deleted when you close the web browser. These are the "good" kind of cookies when it comes to online privacy, as they don't collate data about your device.

2) Permanent cookies

Think of the "keep me logged in" button -- this is the function of permanent cookies. They provide the website with a way to recognize you every time you visit the site, so that you are logged in automatically. Although convenient, here at RingVPN, we class these as the "bad" type of cookies, as they pose numerous privacy and security hazards. We advise you disable these cookies, because a hacker on the site could use permanent cookies as a way to "reverse reveal" your personal information. Just say no to these cookies, kids!

3) Third-party cookies

In the "annoying" cookie jar, are third-party cookies. Most of us find online ads an annoyance, and third-party cookies are the ones that specialize in cross-site tracking, sending you those pesky targeted ads, banners and irritating auto-play videos. You'll be visiting one domain and then boom! Third-party cookie pops up from another domain. Ugh.

4) Supercookies

Yikes. We class these as the "ugly" kind of of cookie. Make no mistake -- these are not superhero cookies. Rather, they are super malicious. Supercookies can be embedded onto your device, while you have no clue. They have the potential to contain information about your authentication, ad targeting information, browser history, and are extremely difficult to delete.

So what about these bad and ugly cookies?

The good and annoying kind are fairly harmless. They don't collect sensitive data and they can usually be blocked or disabled. The bad and ugly kinds (Permanent cookies and Supercookies), however, can and do compromise your privacy. Even worse, they are the perfect vehicle for a hacker to access your private browsing history. But that's not all -- as internet marketing becomes even more savvy, they are also capable of tracking and tracing you for the purposes of sending you targeted marketing and ad content.

How can I get rid of these cookies?

The best way is to delete all existing cookies (even the good and annoying kind) and block any future ones. You need to ante up with a RingVPN subscription, as we make sure your online activities are through our online tunnel and no naughty cookies can get through our military-grade encryption.

Conclusion

Your browser will have instructions to delete and block cookies. It's best to check this regularly (we advice every time you are online, daily is perfect) including the steps on how to do it, as layouts change frequently with desktop browsers and different versions of Android, for example. Every one of your devices needs cookies to be cleared and blocked on the regular, to ensure you are not vulnerable to data leaks, trackers, or hackers.

Want to be on top of your online privacy and know that you are surfing as safely as possible? The only way is to download RingVPN for all your devices and make sure that you ONLY connect and surf via our secure servers and private DNS network. We have more than 100 servers at the moment, across the world. Sign up today and get the first month on us if you don't love it.

What are you waiting for? Get RingVPN now!