The Difference Between First-Party & Third-Party Cookies Explained

When you surf the web enough you become accustomed to either accepting or rejecting the pop-up boxes that ask whether the site can use cookies. Cookies are supposed to improve your overall experience on a website.

However, there’s a difference between First-Party and Third-Party cookies. These are mechanisms you might want to get yourself well-acquainted with before you tap ‘Allow’ the next time the request pops up.

What Are Cookies?

You know how sometimes you are about to log in to a social media site and the browser fills up the password and ID section for you. This is the work of cookies.

Basically, these bits of your personal data that the browser stores with your permission on your computer are what we call cookies. It basically remembers some of the important previous activities. So, as a user, the next time you visit an e-commerce website you allowed cookies for, you may not need to fill in your credit card information before checking out.

It is also thanks to cookies that a website you visited before loads faster. So, cookies certainly have their benefits. However, like we said, there are two kinds of cookies. Let’s take a look at both.

What Are First-Party Cookies?

First-party cookies are used by the website you are visiting. These are cookies that basically save the important stuff about you. They help auto-fill your email id and password on Gmail. They also save your credit or debit card information so that the only thing you have to do is enter the OTP.

First-party cookies also help you browse through a website with better ease. The pictures or videos on the website that might have taken a lot of time to load the first time you visited will load instantly the next time.

What Are Third-Party Cookies?

Third-party cookies are also known as tracking cookies. These cookies aren’t sponsored by the website you visit but by third-party websites. They peek into your browsing history and start displaying certain banner ads based on the stuff you have shown interest in the past.

In fact, the whole pop-up box where you give your consent for cookies wasn’t a thing for a long time. General Data Privacy Regulation was enacted by the European Union in 2018, which forced these third-party websites to at least ask for consent.

If the idea of certain websites tracking all your web activity to give you personalized ads doesn’t bother you, you can certainly consent to it. However, if you don’t like your web activities being tracked this way, make sure to block those third-party trackers.

On browsers like Chrome, you can go to settings and tap on Privacy and security under it. There, you will find the Cookies option. Select Block third-party cookies among them. This way, regardless of the site you visit, third-party cookies are always blocked unless you specifically change the permission.

Final Thoughts

Other than Chrome, Safari from Apple and Firefox from Mozilla are also trying to protect your privacy by blocking third-party cookies. If you know what cookies are, you can tweak the privacy settings better so that your information doesn’t get sold this way.


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