Updated March 18, 2023
Introduction to Cookie Testing
Cookie Testing is performed to test the cookies that are saved in the web browser whenever a web application is being accessed by making use of its server. The term cookie can be defined as the portion of data saved in the form of text in the browser history which is used to send the request details back to the server every time. Same page request is being sent for the specific web page from the web application’s server, and this cookie is used for faster access to the website & the navigation pattern of the user on the website.
Why do we need Cookie Testing?
Cookie testing is required to check if particular information is being sent back to the server. Each time the browser requests for a page from the server this information should be saved. It is needed and important to check the website functions. It is important to verify how the cookies are being written to files and are being stored in your hard drive. Cookies should be tested as they play an important role as they store very important information within it.
How to Test Cookies?
Below steps can be followed when cookies are to be tested.
Step 1: Disable cookies
To start testing the cookies should be first disabled. This can be done by going to browser settings. Once the cookies are disabled the different functionalities can be tested. The website pages and its different functionalities and monitoring of general functions can be done easily. These may behave in a weird manner when the cookies are disabled. The websites should proactively be able to recover from any failure and should be fine. Some websites also provide information to the user through help messages whenever the cookies are disabled. Testing should be in such a way that it should ensure that all such scenarios are handled upfront.
Step 2: Testing cookies by editing them
To test the application the cookie can be edited with its information. This scenario is valid when cookies store information like user names, passwords, etc. The testing can be done by going to the cookie file. This file can be easily edited by changing the current id with any other valid or invalid number. Once the change is done the website should not allow you to log in. This is because the username is changed and the proper error message should be sent as access denied.
Step 3: Remove the cookies for testing purpose
In this scenario, it is necessary to delete or remove the cookies completely. After deleting them you can retest the website and observe its behavior. In this scenario, there should not be any errors or failures. The browser should work as expected and provide all the information as always. Cookies are not always mandatory. It depends on the user if they want it to be saved.
Step 4: Corrupt the cookies
This is one of the important scenarios which should not be missed. It is very important from the security perspective as hackers use this information and will try to access unauthorized information about you and your application. This is usually done by either corrupting the cookie or by overwriting the cookie information with the motive of gaining access to your information through the cookie file. This test is important from the point of view of banking, financial and investment applications. Security for these applications is the utmost. The behavior of cookies should be monitored when they are destroyed. This monitoring can help in find bugs with the cookies if any.
Step 5: Cookie Encryption testing
For the sole purpose of security, it is important that all usernames, user id’s and other sensitive information which is stored in cookie files of websites should be encrypted. The encryption should be validated before being sent to the local computer.
Step 6: Testing behaviour of cookies across various browsers
A cookie when stored on one browser should not work on any other browser. It should be operated only on the browser where it was created. This cross-browser testing should be done appropriately.
Cookie Testing Techniques
As mentioned above the techniques of cookie testing can be summarized as below:
- Deactivating the cookies
- Corrupting the cookies
- Rejecting the cookies
- Cross Browser testing
- Encryption of Cookies
- Testing with different browser settings
By using this technique, the functionality and working of cookies can be tested properly and all data can be validated.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Cookie Testing
Below are some advantages and disadvantages of cookie testing:
- The cookies are easy to implement and do not require any server. They are stored on the user’s computer.
- Cookies can be configured in a way that they expire when a session expires. This makes them persistent only till the user is active. This also ensures security.
- Cookies help in storing information and they work in a way where user work without being aware that the information is being stored.
- They store less memory and as there is no server involved there is no need to send the data back to the server.
- Cookies are persistent and if not restricted to a session the information in cookies can stay there for days, months and even years. It is easy for the user to check the information.
- Cookies are stored on the client’s hard disk and even if the server crashes the information will still be available.
- Cookies make browsing the internet faster and easier.
- Loss of site traffic: Some functionalities will not work when cookies are disabled.
- Sensitive Information: Sometimes sensitive information is stored in cookies without encryption. This compromises security.
Cookies are very useful and lightweight objects which store user information on their system. It is important to test them as they store sensitive information. Cookies can be testing by editing, rejecting and even destroying them. This helps in checking all perspectives and validating if all data is being stored properly in the cookies.
This has been a guide to Cookie Testing. Here we have discussed why do we need cookie testing, how to test cookies, advantages, and disadvantages, etc. You may also have a look at the following articles to learn more –