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Weaknesses of Stale Cookies in Browser Security

A website that keeps being visited frequently by one browser will maintain a record of the visitor by use of a cookie. Now, what happens in the event that the cookie does not get updated in the following visits and goes stale from a lack of use? Well, the stale cookie is a phenomenon that is very rare and the reason browsers are encouraged to stay in sync with all the devices on which the browser application has been installed so that the most accurate snapshot of internet usage and website visits is recorded to prevent mix-ups and confusions when you go visiting a website.

A stale cookie is like a forgotten record of when you went to a website last and happens when the website does not give you a new voucher for visiting them. The cookies that are saved upon your browser might fail to be updated when you have stayed for too long without visiting the website and when you go back to the website, find a cached copy of the website that has not had its timestamp updated. In this case, you will not be in sync with the time on the server that provides the website and this means that the stale cookie needs to get updated to become much newer and fresher for the sake of serving accurate information to the web browser.

The stale cookies also have another weakness in that they cause the webserver to serve a copy or snapshot of the website or web application that is not the latest and very aged. A stale cookie will also bring about the serving of non-recent information to the website and for modern web applications that have close to real-time demands, the staleness of the cookie means there will be a soured up internet experience for the user.

For internet users, the freshness of a web session will mean that they were on the website sometime in the past and shared some information with the server. This then means that the website will only be able to provide fresh information if the cookie information has been updated and is accurate to the very date and time on the local computer. A very old web session that has not seen the same website get visited again will require that the cookie is replaced so that the webserver can pass down the correct information to the user.

A stale web browsing session could have passed too much information between the web server and the browser causing the information not to be updated when the user goes visiting again. In order to uphold information standards and provide the user with the latest copy of the web page, the cookie has to be very new and fresh. This is what makes the web experience legitimate and avoids the users from receiving aged information that has lost its meaning and impact to the website visitor. RSS feeds, for instance, will be useless for a browser that has a stale cookie as they tend to have an aspect of time that determines their worth to the reader.