Beginners Guide to Cookie Management

Beginners Guide to Cookie Management

Feb 21 2023 8:54 PM

Cookies are an essential part of the online experience. They are the small bits of text that let you remember things like your favorite website or password. Cookies can also help you and your business by making it easier to provide a great user experience, but they can also be used against you if not properly managed.  

Luckily there are many cookie management strategies to ensure that your cookies are safe and secure for users. 

Understand what cookie management is  

Cookies are small files that websites store on your computer, mobile device, or other devices. They help the site remember things like your language preference and other settings.  

They also enable businesses to improve users' browsing experience by storing information about them in cookies so we can tailor content appropriately. 

Use Client Side Storage when Possible 

Client-side storage can be a great tool to help you manage cookies. The best part is that it's completely private, and you don't need to worry about anyone snooping on your data. You also won't run into any issues with the server not having enough space for your cookie files.  

With client-side storage, you can store all of your essential cookies in one place without worrying about them being exposed or stolen by malicious entities. 

With server-side storage options, people often have concerns over how secure they are because they are visible when browsing the web. However, if you're using client-side storage software instead, these privacy issues will no longer be an issue since your information isn't stored anywhere but on your computer (or phone). 

Ask Permission Before Doing Anything With The Users Cookies 

Ask them first if you want to do something with a user's cookies. 

If you don't ask permission, they'll probably say no. 

The good news is that if you ask permission, they will almost certainly say yes. Your users may be so amenable that they will grant your request and offer up additional information themselves! 

Set Expiration Dates on Cookies 

Cookie expiration dates are a great way to get more information out of users. For example, if you're using cookie expiration to track how long someone has been on your website, you can use it to determine whether they need help figuring something out or just haven't found what they're looking for yet.  

You can also use cookie expiration dates to set up a signup form that only appears after a certain amount of time has passed. This is great because it means that people who aren't ready yet don't accidentally submit their info before they're ready! 

Keep Cookie Storage Size Small 

As you've probably noticed, there are a lot of different computer programs that allow you to store cookies. Some people use one program for their daily browsing needs and another for their online shopping; others have a single program with multiple features.  

The point is that no matter what kind of software you're using, it will come with its unique set of storage rules and cookie management best practices‚ÄĒand those rules may not be ideal for your needs.¬†

So how can you get the best results when managing cookies? First, don't worry too much about the specific details at this point! The best way to succeed at this by keeping things simple and focusing on only one or two programs at most per device (e.g., a work laptop versus a home PC).  

Once they're set up correctly, these programs should provide enough space so that cookies don't cause any problems while browsing websites or performing other tasks on your computer or phone devices." 

Do Not Store Critical Information in Cookies 

You should not store any sensitive information in cookies. Cookies are not secure and can be easily read or deleted by the user. Cookies can also be stolen by malware or intercepted over insecure channels. 

If you want to store critical information like user names and passwords, a good cookie management practice is to do so on the server instead. 

Block all cookies before users provide consent 

Block all cookies before users provide consent. Cookies make it easier for websites to remember people's preferences and track their movements across the web. Because they can be used to build extensive profiles of individuals, they have been a significant privacy concern since they were introduced in the early 2000s.  

The new EU law requires that users grant explicit consent before placing any cookies on their devices.  

While many sites are using pop-up boxes that ask for this permission, you should still think about how you will handle requests under GDPR if it isn't given‚ÄĒand what you'll do if someone uses an ad blocker so that your pop-up box doesn't show up at all!¬†

The solution here is simple: Don't store any information in the cookie unless the user consents first (and keep only minimal data about them). If your site requires some activity from visitors before allowing them access to content, then use session tracking instead of browser cookies‚ÄĒthis way, no personal data will be stored after each session ends.¬†

Use automated Cookie management tools 

If you're thinking of cookie manage best practices, many free tools can help. But it's essential to find one that is reliable and easy to use. 

If you have a management tool, your life will be easier. It can help you minimize the number of visitors who see an ad on your website or app without being registered as users by storing some information about them in a secure place within your system.  

When they return, their details will be there for you to serve them with relevant content and products based on what they previously looked at before leaving the site. 

Put together a list of all the cookies you use 

The first step to managing your cookies is to put together a list of all the cookies you use. This will help you identify gaps in your cookie management and allow you to take action. 

To do this, create a spreadsheet with four columns: 

  • The name of your website¬†

  • A description of each of the cookies used by that website (include information about what each cookie is for)¬†

  • A list of all domains that set these particular cookies; this should include any third-party domains, not just those operated by yourself or your company (for instance, if Google Analytics uses a certain tracking code on your site, then add it to this section)¬†

Finally, include a column listing all third-party domains that set these particular cookies. The best cookie man platform can help to automate this process. 

Delete Cookies When You No Longer Need Them to be Stored 

As a developer, it's important to remember that you are responsible for user data. If you do not delete cookies when they are no longer needed, then the information stored in them can be stolen by other websites or users. 

If you're concerned about security and privacy issues surrounding your website, deleting cookies is an easy way to keep your users' information secure. 

Many browsers automatically delete the cookies associated with their sites once they are closed; however, some browsers may leave more sensitive details behind unless instructed otherwise by users who want to protect themselves online.  

Third parties can also use cookies maliciously if they have access to them, which could lead to identity theft or other problems. 

Conclusion 

Hopefully, you now better understand what cookie management is and how to do it. It's not as scary as it sounds! If you follow these best practices, you can ensure that your cookies are safe and secure. 


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