One of the fundamental ways of handling user login authentication & session management is by storing variables in Session space plus setting some data in cookies on client computer while sometimes in database as well.
I have been using this simpler technique in many of my academic as well as a few online projects. But I am a little unsure about it.
Do security critical websites like Amazon, Gmail or Facebook use the very same technique for user login & session management or is there more to it than I have known?
This could turn out to be a very general question but I'd really like to know if there are other or mix of multiple ways used (like at gmail, stackexchange or myspace) for handling user login authentication & session management in particular.