Cookies are generally used by websites to enhance user experience as they facilitate predictive decisions. Cookies represent a set of information stored by the browser when a user interacts with a particular website. Whenever someone visits a website for the first time, cookies save packets of information to enhance the user experience if the user returns.
The improved user experience involves decreased load time of a website, auto-login, and desired content recommendations as cookies track your behavior pattern. Users concerned about their privacy delete the cookies from time to time, though super cookies are completely different.
In addition to that, encrypting your online presence makes you less vulnerable to hackers and can secure you from many types of Cyberattacks.
What are Super Cookies?
Super cookies are a blessing for advertisers as they facilitate user ad targeting. On the contrary, they are a nightmare for privacy enthusiasts. Nevertheless, ad targeting is not the only reason for their existence. Unlike an ordinary cookie, it is more difficult to get rid of a super cookie. Super cookie is permanently saved on your device when you visit a particular website.
In contrast with a regular cookie, it is hard to locate a super cookie on your device. Further, the process to find a super cookie is as difficult as the process to delete them. Most users assume that super cookies work the same way a regular cookie does, they store packets of information containing user’s identification, login credentials, browsing history and other forms of details. However, super cookies are a totally different ball game.
Unlike regular cookies, super cookies are not stored in your browser, instead super cookies are saved on your device. Super cookies are able to penetrate at network level and act as UIDHs, also known as, Unique Identifier Headers. These UIDHs work as ID tags, distinguishing your connection from that of another user. These identifiers allow different websites to track its visitors’ without them ever knowing.
How Bad Can Super Cookies Be?
Despite the fact that super cookies track user activity, they do not pose a threat to your device’s security like malware. They have no effect on your device’s performance or cause unwanted halts. However, super cookies are surely a threat for users concerned about their privacy. As explained before, super cookies are advertisers’ favorite tool to infiltrate your privacy.
Injecting super cookies into your device, websites can access your personal information, behavior and preferences. Super cookies can extract data from your cache files and regular cookies even after being deleted. Super cookies also track the time you are most active on the internet. Such information is precious than gold for advertisers. This information can either be used or shared with a third-party to create targeted ads – facilitated by user profiling and preferences.
Further, super cookies store information about your browsing habits and the websites you visit more frequently. This helps a lot with ad placements as the advertisers select websites that are frequently visited by users. Albeit, such information is not always limited or useful to advertisers. Since super cookies track your behavior and collect critical information, they make users susceptible to online surveillance, unauthorized access, exploits and leaks.
You can head over to this blog to learn about cookies and how to remove them from your different browsers.
Getting Rid of Super Cookies
Since super cookies are not stored on your browsers like regular cookies, their detection and removal is extremely tedious and difficult.
Even though you had removed regular cookies from your browser, super cookies would remain unharmed. Moreover, prevention against super cookies is as difficult as their deletion.
When it comes to super cookies, the only way you can shield yourself or your information from super cookies is via SSL (secure socket layer) and TLS (transport layer security) protocols. These protocols enable encryption and work as a vanguard for your privacy. Even adjusting your browser’s tracking preferences or Incognito mode will not help.
Learn about different type of protocols and how they can guard your privacy.
Furthermore, you can also prevent super cookies from infiltrating your device by surfing HTTPS websites only as these websites run on secure protocols. Therefore, the only possible way to get rid of super cookies for good is data encryption.
VPN – The Ultimate Defender against Super Cookies
As discussed before, the only viable alternate is data encryption. Thus, in this regard, a good VPN service always comes in handy. A VPN allows you to browse the internet securely and anonymously. Whenever you surf a website, your device sends a request to the server. In return, the server responds, and you have displayed the desired result. Super cookies infiltrate this request and ascribe to the HTTP request by your internet service provider.
If your traffic is routed to your device from a different server other than the server your requested the information from, you would be saved from this debacle. A VPN can reroute your traffic through different servers – disallowing super cookies to cling to the traffic. A VPN makes it impossible for the tracking headers to be applied to your traffic as it encrypts all of your data and secures your information. Since, detection and deletion of super cookies is next to impossible, a VPN can be considered as an ultimate defender against super cookies.
Super cookies should not be confused with regular cookies. Unlike regular cookies, super cookies are not stored on your browser. Super cookies gain access to your confidential information – making it accessible to the third parties. This information can be used by online surveillance agencies, advertisers and unauthorized personnel. Super cookies make your information susceptible to exploits and information leaks.
Super cookies are impossible to detect or locate as they do not affect your device’s performance. This makes it even more difficult to get rid of them. One way to secure your device from super cookies is by visiting secure protocol websites only. Besides, VPN can also be considered a strong defender against super cookies as it facilitates you to surf the internet privately and anonymously. A VPN restricts your ISPs and websites from attaching unique identifier headers (UIDHs) to your traffic and encrypts your data – making it safe from the unwanted eyes and super cookie free.