What is a cookie?
A cookie is a small piece of data that a website asks your browser to store on your computer or mobile device. The cookie allows the website to “remember” your actions or preferences over time.
Most browsers support cookies, but users can set their browsers to decline them and can delete them whenever they like.
- Identify users
- Remember users’ custom preferences
- Help users complete tasks without having to re‑enter information when browsing from one page to another or when visiting the site later.
- Cookies can also be used for online behavioural target advertising and to show adverts relevant to something that the user searched for in the past.
How are they used?
What are the different types of cookies?
A cookie can be classified by its lifespan and the domain to which it belongs. By lifespan, a cookie is either a:
- session cookie which is erased when the user closes the browser or
- persistent cookie which remains on the user’s computer/device for a pre-defined period of time.
As for the domain to which it belongs, there are either:
- first-party cookies which are set by the web server of the visited page and share the same domain.
How to control cookies
You can control and/or delete cookies as you wish – for details, see aboutcookies.org. You can delete all cookies that are already on your computer and you can set most browsers to prevent them from being placed. If you do this, however, you may have to manually adjust some preferences every time you visit a site and some services and functionalities may not work.