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Should you delete your Browsing History?

By May 19, 2016 No Comments

You’ve probably noticed that when you visit a website you normally get a pop up saying that site uses Cookies and shows a Cookie Policy, but what are Cookies? Cookies or Browser Cookies are small files which are stored on your computer. They are designed to hold data specific to a particular client and website. Cookies build up alongside your browsing history causing your computer to slow down.

 So what can you do?

  • Choose what history you delete. Browsers allow you to automatically schedule the deletion of your history, where it can either delete content every week to every month. This will allow you to free up space on your computer and stop it from slowing down.
  • Be careful what you delete. You don’t have to delete everything, particularly if you rely on your machine to save your passwords. You can choose not to delete this if you wish.
  • Think about whether you wish to clear cookies. Whilst they are tracking your web activity, they can be useful.

Top 4 reasons to delete your cookies

  • They pose a security threat – Hackers can use cookies to get into your account without a password. You might remember back in 2015/16, hackers stole the code related to Yahoo’s cookies allowing them to forge cookies for over 32 million users and give them access to people’s accounts without needing a password.
  • Cookies can be outdated/corrupted – This can cause error messages to appear.
  • They fill up a lot of space of your hard-drive – When you first visit a website, the pages you visit get saved onto your hard-drive. When you visit the website a second time, instead of re-downloading the pages it loads the website a lot faster. However, a build up of cookies on your hard drive causes your system to slow down.
  • They store personal information about you – Cookies remember the sites you visit and the purchases you make and advertisers (and hackers) can use this information to their advantage. So to improve your privacy, it’s best to delete them regularly.

How to delete your browsing history

How does GDPR affect cookies?

Cookies have been causing concerns around privacy for a few years now and new GDPR has changed how they can be used.

New GDPR states that cookies must be treated as personal data because they can be used to identify an individual through their IP addresses.

To comply with GDPR, organisations using cookies must ask for consent to process and store personal data. They must tell users how they are planning to use their data and are not allows to restrict access to websites or services based on whether or not consent was granted.

To find out more about how to keep your data secure under new GDPR, click here.

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