You’ve probably heard the term “cache” and “cookies” thrown around in relation to internet browsing. Did you know that this data is also stored on your mobile devices? Here we will discuss what they are, why you should clear them and how to do it.
CACHE & COOKIES – WHAT ARE THEY?
Cookies small snippets of data stored on your phone (or computer) while you are browsing a website. Websites use them to “remember” information about your visit such as items left in an abandoned shopping cart (remember how your abandoned items show up as a reminder at a later time. Cookies at work!), buttons you’ve clicked on, what pages you’ve visited in the past, etc. Cookies can also remember sensitive information you’ve entered into a website like credit card numbers and login credentials. This is certainly a security vulnerability and the reason why you should periodically clear cookies from your device.
The cache is like a virtual storage unit containing images and page resources from sites you’ve visited. This is to improve a website’s performance and load time. Because a site has stored this data in the “storage unit”, it doesn’t need to download the data again when you visit, making the page load faster.
WHY SHOULD I CLEAR THIS DATA?
- Privacy & Security – Because your cache & cookies store much of your personal information, hackers can potentially steal that data for identity theft purposes. Read about how you can tell if your phone has been hacked & what you can do about it here.
- Browsing Speed & Storage– the data stored by cache & cookies take up storage space on your device. With the volume of browsing that most of us do these days, that data can add up fast, negatively affecting the performance of your phone and your browsing experience.
HOW DO I CLEAR THIS DATA?
Open Google Chrome and click on the three dots on the top right. Select “History”, then “Clear Browsing Data”. From here, you can be selective about what you want to clear and in what timeframe. When you’re satisfied with your selections, click on “Clear Data”.
Open the Settings icon and navigate to Safari > Clean History & Website Data and tap on the pop up to complete the process. This step also clears your cache at the same time.
January 2021 Edition