Nowadays everything can be resolved through the internet. Paying a bill, scheduling an appointment, making long researches, and learning about a new subject. Great part of our routine tasks can be altogether remotely done.
The Digital 2019 report, made by Hootsuite in partnership with We Are Social, showed that Brazil is the second country in the world whose population spends more time connected to the internet. Here comes a doubt: How many sites a day do you access? I bet lots of them.
In each of the sites we access for the first time, it is extremely common that we accept cookies policies in a totally intuitive way and, many times, without even knowing what that might involve. What you are really accepting when you agree with cookies might vary a lot depending on the policy of each site. Nevertheless, what is certain is that you are authorizing the site to monitor and to capture your information, and even to share it with partners.
Know the types of cookies
Marlos Chida, from Qriar Technology — one of the startups in which we invest — is the ideal person to speak about the subject. Besides being Security Consultant, he acts in the entire life cycle of Qriar products and works in the implementation of new solutions and client support. Marlos thoroughly explained how cookies might improve user experience within a site.
“Cookies can make a tracking of the information you are accessing, of your browsing preferences, and of which site areas you focused on previous accesses, allowing a characterization of interests and a personalization of browsing and user experience”, told us the Security Consultant of Qriar Technology.
The first monitoring by cookies was created for a positive utilization: linking the user to his/her access. Actually, before the cookies, sites identified every visit as if made by a different user, which is not necessarily a fact. After creation of this monitoring, platforms have managed to identify whether the user who is accessing the pages is doing it for the first time or has already accessed them before. Besides that, cookies allow sites to make a tracking of everything you are accessing — for example, which your preferences are, which pages you have visualized — and even to store all that in your computer.
However, it is important to take into consideration that there are diverse types of cookies, with various depths, and each one of them have a different objective and level of persistence. The three better known types are the following:
- Sessional: They do not collect personal information and are deleted, automatically, when the user closes the browser.
- Persistent: They are stored in the computer until expiring or being excluded, though they do no occupy significant space. They are utilized to collect information on user identification.
- Malicious: They can store and follow absolutely every online user activity. Those are the cookies which can collect data and commercialize them with other enterprises for publicity ends, as we shall see next.
Cookies in behavioural publicity
Cookies are directly related to publicity. When you have been impacted by advertisements of products which suited your interests, cookies had most likely taken part in the performance process of such a promotion.
Cookies are utilized in publicity so as to allow that you are impacted by something which, sooner or later, you would look for with search engines. Marlos Chida has summarized that process rather objectively.
We have presented various positive ways of acting by cookies. However, it is very important to emphasize that, in a great part of their utilizations, cookies act rather bad-intentionally, and therefore it is worthy being watchful and protecting yourself. See next some points which we feel important emphasizing.
Did you know that opting not to accept cookies in sites does not guarantee security of your information? The same counts for exclusion of cookies from the computer. “If the user doesn’t accept cookies, there’re other ways of data monitoring to be done”, declared the consultant of Qriar.
Personal information monitoring has been one of the arguments applied to the creation of the General Rule of Data Protection, also known as LGPD (in Portuguese). This Rule has emerged to regulate the way enterprises collect data in a digital environment, since before the creation of the LGPD data were being collected and utilized without user consent.
In this scenario, all enterprises that collect client information have to adapt to the new Rule, which provides severe penalties for those that do not respect it. Among the new requirements is the fact that, now, users have to know exactly to which end their personal data are being utilized.
Digital security in current times
All the information worked out in this text leads us to think about the importance of Cybersecurity as regards the quantity of cookies we daily find on the internet. Acting in favour of information protection, whether personal or entrepreneurial, is fundamental in the technological age, chiefly in times of “working from home”. As a matter of fact, we are all vulnerable to cybernetic attacks and investing in Cybersecurity is the same as investing in protection.
Data from Fortinet Threat Intelligence indicate that Brazil suffered, in the first trimester of 2020 only, more than 1.6 billion attempts of cybernetic attacks. It is exactly for this reason that Qriar works focused on development, integration, implementation and personalization of cybersecurity solutions. Besides, the enterprise is prepared to help companies which have not adapted to the new General Rule of Data Protection yet. Know more about services offered by Qriar, by clicking here.