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In this post we`d like to eliminate a bit of a confusion that some of our customers have when dealing with web page reloads and data storing. There are 2 main things involved: web cookies and web/browser cache. They have differnet objectves and we wanted to clarify it a bit in one post.

Cookies, also known as HTTP cookies, web cookies, or browser cookies are usually small pieces of data sent from a website and stored in a user’s web browser while a user is browsing a website. Not all websites have these, but many do especially large well-known websites. Websites use cookies so they can track what users are viewing, recognize one’s computer in the future, and remember the state of the website or activity the user had taken in the past. For instance, when one logs on to a certain website, the password and id are stored on his or her machine in a cookie, and so there is no need to sign on the next time. Also, cookies are beneficial for marketing websites. For example, when one searches a major engine such as google.com for anything at all, the next time one comes back to search again he or she might find pictures and advertisements at the top of the screen of the previous searches. The marketing websites are now aware of the user’s interest and are showing advertisements as it might be something targeted towards the user’s buying habits. Further, cookies cannot carry viruses or install malware on the host computer, yet some cookies are under a major privacy concern. For instance, tracking cookies and especially third-party tracking cookies are commonly used as ways to compile long-term records of individuals’ browsing histories, hence any security vulnerabilities may allow a cookie’s data to be read by a hacker, used to gain access to user data, or used to gain access to the website to which the cookie belongs. Authentication cookies are the most common method used by web servers to know whether the user is logged in or not, and which account they are logged in under. The security of that cookie generally depends on the security of the issuing website and the user’s web browser, and on whether the cookie data is encrypted.

A web cache is a mechanism for the temporary storage of web documents, such as HTML pages and images, to reduce bandwidth usage, server load, and perceived lag. Cache files help one’s browser go faster since it retrieves the information and files from a website in use, or that have been recently used. These are also left behind on the user’s machine and includes everything, including pictures, sound files, video files, and text that has been browsed. Thus, if one shares his or her computer or any other device, in any way, it would be safe to keep these caches cleaned when done browsing. When your are re-freshing or re-loading a web page that supposed to be different, but still looks the same or somhow broken it`s your browser`s cache responsible for renedring stores version. You`ll need to do so-called hard refresh (ctrl+F5) in order to clear the cache to see updated page. Cache has an expiry date and stored pages will eventually be cleared anyway. However, for optimized browsing experience we suggest to clean it regularly.

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