Identifying Unknown Cookies

  • Updated

After inserting the osano.js into the head of your website, Osano will begin automatically discovering and reporting the full URL of the scripts attempting to load on your site. It will also discover and report on specific cookies placed on your site. 

Osano keeps a curated list of script and cookie rules and their classifications for reference and will provide classification suggestions for scripts and cookies that we have seen before. 

NOTE: Script and cookie suggestions are merely RECOMMENDATIONS based on common classifications and use cases. They may not apply to your organization, so it is best to double-check each recommendation as it relates to your org's use of scripts and cookies before accepting its classification. 

Scripts/cookies with no suggested classifications or rules associated with them will read "Unknown" in the classification dropdown. This means we did not have enough information on this script or cookie to recommend a classification, and it must be filled in manually. 


Suggestions for Researching and Identifying Cookies

It's always helpful to keep track of the tools you are using on your site, but there are times when you may not know what a particular script is or does. In that case, here are some suggestions for researching and identifying unknown scripts. 


Option 1: Your search engine is your friend

The first option for identifying unknown cookies is to search for this cookie via your search engine of choice.

  • Example: Typing in "_ga" cookie leads you to the vendor documentation for Google analytics.
  • This document contains relevant info about this cookie and what it does. NOTE: Vendor documentation is the most reliable source when identifying cookies. 


Option 2: Try checking your site

Sometimes, a simple search may not reveal the vendor who placed the cookie on your particular site. In this case, you can attempt to find more about the cookie by investigating your site itself. 

  • Example: (In Chrome / Firefox / Edge)
  • Go to your website in an Incognito/Private window.
  • If possible, turn OFF third-party cookie blocking.
  • Right-click on your screen and open your "Developer Tools" by clicking "Inspect" or "Developer Tools."
  • Click on the "Application" tab.
  • Click on "Cookies" to expand the section.

  • Navigate to your site.
  • Now you will see a list of the cookies loading on your homepage. You can click around on the site to load more cookies as well as navigate to different pages. Note: It is doubtful that you will identify EVERY cookie on your site this way, but this gives you a starting point.
  • Once you have found a cookie on your site, you can look for more information about this cookie in the cookie details or by searching for that cookie in your "Network" tab.


  • From the Network tab, you can search for the script that placed the cookie in question. This may give you additional information about the vendor that owns this cookie.   

  • In this example, the cookie __hssc is placed by a script belonging to the domain. This domain belongs to Hubspot (Used in this case to create and render content)