What Are Session Cookies?

Learn how session cookies are used to personalize your web browsing experience.
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Webpages have no memories. A user going from page to page will be treated by the website as a completely new visitor. Session cookies enable the website you are visiting to keep track of your movement from page to page so you don't get asked for the same information you've already given to the site.

We'll dive into what session cookies are, what they're used for, and how to manage your cookies with the best ad blockers and VPNs.

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What are session cookies used for?

Cookies allow you to proceed through many pages of a site quickly and easily without having to authenticate or reprocess each new area you visit.

Session cookies allow users to be recognized within a website so any page changes or item or data selection you do is remembered from page to page. The most common example of this functionality is the shopping cart feature of any e-commerce site.

When you visit one page of a catalog and select some items, the session cookie remembers your selection, so your shopping cart will have the items you selected when you are ready to check out. Without session cookies, if you click CHECKOUT, the new page does not recognize your past activities on prior pages, and your shopping cart will always be empty.

You can adjust your session cookies through the settings feature of your browser.

Without cookies, websites and their servers have no memory. A cookie, like a key, enables swift passage from one place to the next. Without a cookie, every time you open a new web page, the server where that page is stored will treat you like a completely new visitor.

Websites typically use session cookies to ensure that you are recognized when you move from page to page within one site and that any information you have entered is remembered. For example, if an e-commerce site did not use session cookies, then items placed in a shopping basket would disappear by the time you reach the checkout. You can choose to accept session cookies by changing the settings in your browser.

How to manage your cookies

One way to take control of your cybersecurity is by learning how to disable cookies in your web browser. To manage your cookies,  

Alternatively, you can block cookies by using an ad blocker or a virtual private network (VPN) with ad and tracker blocking capabilities. Here are some recommendations: 

  • Total Adblock: If you're looking for a top-performing ad blocker, look no further than Total Adblock. During our testing, it effectively blocked tracking ads and invisible trackers, and it created a nearly unique fingerprint for our browser, ensuring you remain anonymous from internet trackers. 

    Get Total Adblock | Read Our Total Adblock Review

  • NordVPN: In addition to being a top-notch VPN, Nord can also help with ad blocking. With its Threat Protection feature, you can block ads, trackers, and malicious sites, so you can stay safe online.  

    Get NordVPN | Read Our NordVPN Review

  • ExpressVPN: Although ExpressVPN doesn't block ads, it has extensive tracker-block capabilities. The Threat Manager feature can block apps and websites from tracking your online activity.

    Get ExpressVPN | Read Our ExpressVPN Review

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