Magic Cookie

What Does Magic Cookie Mean?

A magic cookie is a token of data exchanged from a server to a client that is used to track, authenticate and inform the client in the system about the presence of server. A magic cookie differs from a regular data packet because it does not contain readable data, only path information through which the server can be reached.

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Techopedia Explains Magic Cookie

Magic cookies were formerly used to track and verify the presence of a user on a logging system, but are now used by Web servers to save the information of a user that visits a specific site on a network. The most commonly used type of magic cookie is the Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP) cookie by Web pages. Information in the cookie is encrypted and unreadable under normal circumstances and only the generator (server) can track information related to it. A first-party cookie tracks the users directly on the website being visited, whereas third-party cookies are normally used for user information to post related ads and privacy policy information.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.