So just what is your browser cache, what exactly are cookies, and why is clearing them important for your business?
You most likely use quite a lot of software in your business, from word processing and spreadsheets to databases and even smartphone apps.
It can be easy to overlook your browser, but in fact it’s an important bit of business software.
You might use it for many things, including interacting with your customers on social media, banking, purchasing business supplies, networking, publishing content and keeping up with your email.
As such, it’s important that you keep your browser running as efficiently as possible.
What Is a Browser Cache?
The browser cache stores its own copy of web pages that you visit, including elements such as logos, banners, pictures and navigation buttons.
When you visit a web page, your browser checks its cache to see if it already has its own copy. If it does, it can use those elements without needing to re-download them every time, which makes the web page load faster and your browser run better.
What Are Cookies?
Cookies are small text files that are created and stored when you visit a web page. The web page sends information to your browser, creating a cookie. When you return to that web page, the browser retrieves the cookie and sends it to the website server.
Cookies can be used for authentication, to save users having to log in over and over again and to keep track of pages visited so navigation is easier.
Why Do You Need to Clear Your Browser Cache?
The fact that your cache can help your browser to load web pages faster is obviously a good thing, but without regular clearing, your cache can cause some frustrating little problems.
As the article “The Importance of Clearing Your Browser Cache” points out, because your cache basically means your computer is loading an older, stored version of a website, you might run into issues such as:
- A web page hanging or freezing;
- Browsing sessions or log ins timing out;
- Games or applications malfunctioning;
- Page elements appearing broken;
- Problems with logging in to an account.
If you clear out both your cache and your cookies, the next time you visit a web page your computer will think you have neither visited nor logged onto it (if applicable) before. That’s good news, because you’ll get the most up to date version of the web page, which should solve any problems.
And, while cookies are generally safe, there is always the small risk of them containing harmful information, which you can get rid of by deleting them.
You’ll have to re-enter any usernames or passwords the first time you visit a website after clearing your cache and cookies, but that’s a small price to pay to keep your browser running quickly and securely.
When you think about it, using a web browser is most likely a regular part of your business day.
And just like any other part of your business, you want it to run as efficiently as possible.
That’s why regularly cleaning out your browser cache, and encouraging your employees to do the same, is important.
Think of it as a little tune up that will keep things running smoothly and keep your online business activities smooth and secure.
About the Author: Tristan Anwyn writes on a wide variety of topics, including social media, SEO, browser cache and business software.