What Are Cookies?
Cookies are pieces of data, normally stored in text files, that websites place on visitors’ computers to store a range of information, usually specific to that visitor, or rather the device they are using to view the site such as the browser or mobile phone.
They were created to overcome a limitation in web technology. Web pages are ‘stateless’ – which means that they have no memory, and cannot easily pass information between each other. So cookies provide a kind of memory for web pages.
Cookies allow you to login on one page, then move around to other pages and stay logged in. They allow you to set preferences for the display of a page, and for these to be remembered the next time you return to it.
Cookies can also be used to watch the pages you visit between sites, which allows advertisers to build up a picture of your interests. Then when you land on a site that shows one of their adverts – they can tailor it to those interests. This is known as ‘behavioural advertising’.
Cookies are incredibly useful – they allow modern websites to work the way people have come to expect – with every increasing levels of personalisation and rich interactive functionality.
Can I Disable Cookies?
You can disable cookies. Most modern web browsers allow you to modify the standard settings and achieve this. How you do this depends on the specific browser or device you are using.
Note that most modern websites rely on cookies to operate correctly, and some sites will not be accessible with cookies disabled, or will not function as you might expect.
Where Can I Learn More About Cookies?
There are multiple websites dedicated to explaining how cookies work and they provide a wealth of information on how to manage these. We recommend the following web site: