Cookies are small files left behind by websites to identify the user, or to save session data. Most websites require cookies to run, however cookies are one of the first places that store away passwords and sensitive information without user knowledge. Invariably, a hacker can read the cookies on a user’s computer, and glean quite a bit of information on the individual.
On the ‘Privacy’ tab of Internet Options, there is another slider for cookies. It isn’t possible to run some websites without cookies altogether, so it is best to leave it at Medium, and adjust the Advance Settings instead.
The Advanced Privacy Settings tab has the option of overriding automatic cookies handling. This essentially means that the user can set a response to first-party and third-party cookies. If the user selects ‘Prompt’ for both, the user will receive a message every time a website tries to write a cookie to the browser cache. While this is an excellent way to block websites tracking a user, it can become tedious for session data; therefore there is a checkbox for allowing session cookies without prompts.
Additionally, the Sites button allows the user to set certain sites that are allowed to save cookies to the cache without asking the user permission each time. The user needs to be absolutely certain that these cookies are safe, and do not store any personal information.