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If more than one browser is used on a computer, each usually has a separate storage area for cookies. Hence, cookies do not identify a person, but a combination of a user account, a computer, and a web browser.

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Thus, anyone who uses multiple accounts, computers, or browsers has multiple sets of cookies. In this case, the proxy server would only see the raw, encrypted bytes of the HTTP request. For example, a victim is reading an attacker’s posting on , and the attacker’s script is executed in the victim’s browser. The script generates a request to with the proxy server Since the request is for , all cookies will be sent along with the request, but routed through the attacker’s proxy server. Hence, the attacker would be able to harvest the victim’s cookies.

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Therefore, for maximum security, cookies with the Secure attribute should only be set over a secure connection. In addition to a name and value, cookies can also have one or more attributes. Browsers do not include cookie attributes in requests to the server—they only send the cookie’s name and value. Cookie attributes are used by browsers to determine when to delete a cookie, dinput8.dll block a cookie or whether to send a cookie to the server. By analyzing this log file, it is then possible to find out which pages the user has visited, in what sequence, and for how long.

However, the P3P specification was criticized by web developers for its complexity. For example, Facebook jokingly used "HONK" as its P3P header for a period. Only Internet Explorer provides adequate support for the specification. First-party analytics cookies are not likely to create a privacy risk if websites provide clear information about the cookies to users and privacy safeguards. In 2009, the policy was amended by Directive 2009/136/EC, which included a change to Article 5, Paragraph 3. Instead of having an option for users to opt out of cookie storage, the revised Directive requires consent to be obtained for cookie storage.

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The possibility of building a profile of users is a privacy threat, especially when tracking is done across multiple domains using third-party cookies. For this reason, some countries have legislation about cookies. To view and selectively delete cookies using a cookie manager. The HttpOnly attribute directs browsers not to expose cookies through channels other than HTTP requests. This means that the cookie cannot be accessed via client-side scripting languages , and therefore cannot be stolen easily via cross-site scripting . The Secure attribute is meant to keep cookie communication limited to encrypted transmission, directing browsers to use cookies only via secure/encrypted connections. However, if a web server sets a cookie with a secure attribute from a non-secure connection, the cookie can still be intercepted when it is sent to the user by man-in-the-middle attacks.

Transferring session identifiers as HTTP cookies is more secure. However, IP addresses are generally not a reliable way to track a session or identify a user. Many computers designed to be used by a single user, such as office PCs or home PCs, are behind a network address translator . This means that several PCs will share a public IP address. Furthermore, some systems, such as Tor, are designed to retain Internet anonymity, rendering tracking by IP address impractical, impossible, or a security risk.

This issue can be resolved by securing the communication between the user’s computer and the server by employing Transport Layer Security to encrypt the connection. A server can specify the Secure flag while setting a cookie, which will cause the browser to send the cookie only over an encrypted channel, such as an TLS connection. Listed here are various scenarios of cookie theft and user session hijacking that work with websites relying solely on HTTP cookies for user identification. Third-party cookies can be blocked by most browsers to increase privacy and reduce tracking by advertising and tracking companies without negatively affecting the user’s web experience. Many advertising operators have an opt-out option to behavioural advertising, with a generic cookie in the browser stopping behavioural advertising. The P3P specification offers a possibility for a server to state a privacy policy using an HTTP header, which specifies which kind of information it collects and for which purpose. These policies include the use of information gathered using cookies.

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