What are cookies?
A cookie is a text file stored in a user’s web browser on any device they use to access a website that holds information regarding the user’s visit, such as preferences. When the user returns, the browser provides the cookie with the stored information to the site.
What cookies are used for?
Cookies are used for adjusting a website’s content to fit a user’s preferences and optimize the website. They store useful information that improve the user’s experience of a website. They are most commonly used for:
- Storing login information so that a user does not need to re-login on every visit.
- Recognizing the type of device a user is browsing with and any preferences applied to optimize the website specifically for the device.
- Creating statistics that help website owners to understand how their users interact with their website, which allows them to improve their structure and content.
What types of cookies are used?
There are two types of cookies: persistent cookies and session cookies. Persistent cookies remain on your hard drive for a period of time specified in the cookie’s file parameters or until removed manually. When you return to a website and it requires you to login again despite previously storing your login information, it is usually because the persistent cookie expired; this helps to increase security while maintaining accessibility.
Session cookies, on the other hand, are used temporarily and expire once the website or browser is closed. They are used to track user activity on a website during a single visit. When a website requires that you verify your age or location once every visit before allowing you to view content and without requiring additional personal details, that is a session cookie at work.
|Processes||Intended to make the Website work in the way you expect. For example, we use a cookie that tells us whether you have already signed up for a User Account.|
|Notifications||Intended to allow or prevent notices of information or options that we think could improve your use of the Service. For example, we use a Cookie that stops us from showing you the signup notification if you have already seen it.|
|Analytics||Intended to help us understand how visitors use the services. For example, we use a Cookie that tells us how our search suggestions correlate with your interactions with the search page.|
As with first-party cookies, you are able to block third-party cookies through your browser settings.
Do cookies include personal data?
If there is a need for the collection of personal information, such as for creating accounts, then cookies may store personal information. However, it is required by data protection law that users are informed of the collection of personal data. This data will also be encrypted to render it inaccessible for unauthorized users.
By default, browsers are configured to accept cookies. However, these settings may be changed to block cookies entirely, or to inform the user each time they are used. Detailed information about cookies and the options associated with them are available in each browsers’ settings.
Security and confidentiality
Cookies are NOT viruses. They take the form of simple text. They are not made out of code and cannot therefore be executed or execute themselves alone. Consequently, they may not be duplicated or copied into other networks in order to get started and copied once more. Since cookies cannot perform those functions, they cannot be regarded as viruses.
Most often, browsers have built-in privacy settings, which provide different levels for the acceptance of cookies, the period of their validity and their automatic deletion after a User has visited a given website.
Advice on secure and responsible surfing, using cookies
Here is some advice, which can ensure safe surfing, but with the help of cookies:
- If you are the only person, who uses the computer, you may set longer terms for expiration of the storage of the browsing history and access to personal data.
- If you share your computer access with somebody, you may set your browser settings to delete the surfing data every time you close your web browser.
- Ensure that your browser is always up to date. Many of the attacks, based on cookies, are realized when exploiting the weak spots of old and non-updated versions of the web browsers. Cookies are everywhere and they may not be circumvented if you would like to enjoy your access to the best and biggest websites on the Internet.
It is possible that you set your browser in a way that does not allow for cookies to be accepted anymore or you can set your browser to accept cookies only from certain websites. All modern browsers offer the option to change cookie settings.This includes computer browsers, as well as mobile device browsers. These settings can be found in the “options” menu or the “preferences” menu of your browser.In order to find those settings, you can also use the links below or use the “help” menu of your browser for more information.