What Are Cookies and How Do They Track You Online?

The internet is a vast space, and as you navigate through it, you leave behind digital footprints. One of the primary tools that websites use to remember you and your preferences are “cookies.” But what exactly are these cookies, and how do they track your online activities?

The Basics of Cookies

Cookies are small text files that websites store on your computer or mobile device when you visit them. They contain information about your visit, such as your preferred language, login details, and other settings. This means that when you revisit the website, it can present tailored options based on the information it has stored about you, enhancing your browsing experience.

Types of Cookies

There are several types of cookies, including:

Session Cookies: Temporary cookies that are deleted once you close your browser.

Persistent Cookies: These remain on your device until you delete them or they expire. They’re used by websites to remember you and your preferences over time.

Third-Party Cookies: Placed by websites other than the one you’re visiting, often by advertisers to track your online behavior across different sites.

How Cookies Track You

The Role of Third-Party Cookies

While cookies enhance your browsing experience by remembering your preferences, third-party cookies play a significant role in tracking your online behavior. Advertisers often use these cookies to build a profile of your online activities, which helps them deliver targeted ads. For instance, if you’ve been searching for a vacation package, you might start seeing ads for travel deals on various websites you visit.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Cookies

Cookies undoubtedly make our online experiences smoother. They remember our login details, shopping cart contents, and other preferences. However, the downside is the potential invasion of privacy. With third-party cookies tracking our every move, it can feel like we’re constantly under surveillance.

Protecting Your Online Privacy with VPNs

How VPNs Enhance Privacy

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a tool that encrypts your internet connection, ensuring your online activities remain private. By masking your IP address and routing your traffic through secure servers, VPNs make it difficult for websites and advertisers to track you. This means that even if cookies are stored on your device, they won’t be as effective in building a comprehensive profile of your online behavior.

Introducing surfshark: A Leading VPN Solution

Surfshark is a renowned VPN service that offers robust online protection. With its strict no-logs policy, high-speed servers, and advanced encryption, surfshark ensures that your online activities remain private. By using a VPN like surfshark, you can significantly reduce the tracking capabilities of cookies and enjoy a more private browsing experience.


Cookies, while useful, come with privacy concerns, especially when third-party entities use them to track our online behavior. However, tools like VPNs, especially reliable ones like surfshark, offer a layer of protection, ensuring our online activities remain private. As internet users, it’s crucial to be aware of these tools and use them to safeguard our online privacy.


1. What’s the primary purpose of cookies?

Cookies are designed to enhance your browsing experience by remembering your preferences and settings.

2. Can I block cookies on my browser?

Yes, most browsers allow you to block cookies, especially third-party ones. However, this might affect some website functionalities.

3. How does a VPN like surfshark protect against cookie tracking?

Surfshark encrypts your internet connection and masks your IP address, making it difficult for websites and advertisers to track your online behavior.

4. Are all cookies bad for privacy?

Not all cookies are harmful. While third-party cookies can track your behavior across sites, first-party cookies are generally used to enhance your browsing experience on a specific website.

5. Do VPNs block cookies?

VPNs don’t block cookies, but they make it harder for cookies to track your online activities effectively.