What the Hell are cookies?
What are cookies?
Cookies are text files containing small amounts of information which are downloaded to your device when you visit a website. Cookies are useful in a number of ways:
- Allow a website to recognize your device
- Keep track of pages visited
- Remember website preferences
Types of cookies
- Session cookies: Expire at the end of a browser session
- Persistent cookies: Stored for indefinite periods, as defined by the website that placed them on your computer
How are cookies used?
Cookies can be used in the following ways:
Enable you to move around a website and use its features, including accessing secure areas of the website. Without these cookies, services you have asked for cannot be provided. These cookies also allow a website to remember choices you make (such as your user name, language or the region you are in) and provide enhanced, more personal features.
For instance, a website may be able to provide you with local weather reports or traffic news by storing in a cookie the region in which you are currently located. These cookies can also be used to remember changes you have made to text size, fonts and other parts of web pages that you may have customized. They may also be used to provide services you have asked for such as watching a video or commenting on a blog.
Used to improve how a website works. They collect information about how visitors use a website, for instance which pages visitors go to most often, and if they get error messages from web pages. These cookies don’t collect information that identifies a particular individual visitor, as the information is aggregated only.
Targeting or advertising cookies
Used to deliver advertisements that may be relevant to you and your interests. They are also used to limit the number of times you see an advertisement as well as help measure the effectiveness of the advertising campaign. They are usually placed by advertising networks with the website operator’s permission. They remember that you have visited a website and this information may be shared with other organizations such as advertisers.
- Pixel tags, web beacons and clear GIFs (graphics interchange format) are tiny files used to monitor navigation on a website and may be used with cookies.
- Flash objects (local shared objects) are small files stored on your device by a website using Adobe’s Flash player technology.
How to manage cookies
You may be able to control your acceptance of cookies and similar technologies on a website, and most devices and browsers offer their own privacy settings for cookies. You will need to manage your cookie settings for each device and browser you use.
- If you do not accept cookies, you may experience some inconvenience in your use of some sites and online products. For example, a website may not be able to recognize your device and you may need to answer challenge questions or provide additional information each time you log on.
- Deleting cookies does not delete Flash objects. You can learn more about Flash objects including how to control and disable them on the Adobe website.