How often have you been shopping on a website or scrolling through an account just for an "accept cookies" pop-up to halt your search? You've probably clicked "accept all cookies" just to return to what you were doing. Now, imagine, as a business owner, these popping up for your customers on your website without your consent. 

It's important to understand the risks of third-party cookies for businesses, but if you've willingly implemented cookies onto your website, you're probably wondering what's so bad about them. Below, we'll explain the difference between your first-party cookies and the third-party cookies crashing your website and why Google is finally phasing out the latter. 

First-Party vs. Third-Party Cookies

While both types of cookies primarily use JavaScript to add and modify HTML elements, create online user-friendliness, and allow for more website interaction, first-party cookies do so to increase customer satisfaction. 

First-party cookies, which the host domain produces, improve a customer's time on your website by taking only fundamental data such as their IP address and any data they entered while on your page. That includes user names, passwords, recently browsed content, and shopping cart information. In return, regular customers receive a personalized and unique experience on the site every time. 

However, while third-party cookies may also have good intentions, controversy surrounds these privacy concerns. Third-party cookies originate from an external source, such as a social media platform or advertisers looking to track users' activities across the web. That involves noting all searches individuals make, the web pages they visit, the posts they like, and the decisions they make.

In other words, third-party tracking doesn't end once a viewer leaves your website, which causes serious privacy risks.

Why Are Third-Party Cookies Risky?

The risks of third-party cookies for businesses stem from the fact that they don't stop at collecting basic information. Instead, they take it one step further, learning the following:

  • Age
  • Gender 
  • Payment types and card numbers
  • Occupation and income 
  • And more

Collecting personal information is an intrusive step that causes many online searchers to feel exposed and vulnerable, especially since the advertisers did not receive permission to learn or store this data. These cookies don't just create detailed user profiles; many people may experience security issues with third-party cookies since their creators may want to steal information or launch malware. 

Business risks with cookies like these are also plausible. Suppose users realize the information stolen happened on your website, and there aren't any implications of third-party cookies being present. In that case, your company's trustworthiness and brand name are down. 

What Is the Future of Third-Party Cookies?

Search engines like Apple's Safari and Mozilla have long noticed and eradicated third-party cookie vulnerabilities by blocking them. However, since Google Chrome is responsible for 63% of all global web traffic and still allows third-party cookies, cookie tracking risks remain large. 

That's why Google is now phasing it out, which means advertisers must find a safer way to reach out and conform to online searchers, lowering the risks of third-party cookies for businesses. 


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