What are Cookies?
Cookies are tiny text files that are stored on a user’s web browser. They are sent by request from a web server to a users web browser (e.g. Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari) and do not contain software programmes, viruses or spyware. Technically, only the web server that sent the cookie can access it again when a user returns to a website associated with that web server. Cookies allow websites and applications to respond to users as an individual and allow us to measure how customers use our services to ensure we meet their future needs.
There are two kinds of cookies - Session Cookies and Persistent Cookies.
Session Cookies are temporary files that only exist in the duration that a user accesses a website and are deleted from the users web browser when the user ends their session. They help imporve the browsing experience for the user while they are on a website and do not contain personal information and cannot be used to identify the user.
Persistent Cookies exist for longer than the duration of a users browsing session but have a limited lifespan set by the visited site. Persistent cookies help identify users as unique visitors and remember settings and preferences for when a user visits that site in future. This results in an improved and quicker browsing experience. For example, if a user clicks the “Remember Me” option for their login details on a website. Persistent cookies do not contain information that could be used to identify you to another person.
How to control or delete Cookies
Users of any website can command their web browser to restrict or block cookies and can also delete cookies from their devices after they have been set.
To block or allow Cookies in Google Chrome
- Click the Chrome menu button on the browser toolbar
- Select ‘Settings’ and click ‘Show advanced Settings’
- In the ‘Privacy’ section click the ‘Content Settings’ button
- In the ‘Cookies’ section you can then change the settings according to your preference
To block or allow Cookies in Safari
- Choose ‘Safari’ in the top of the browser and select ‘Preferences’ then click ‘Privacy’
- In the ‘Block Cookies’ section change the settings for cookies according to your preference
To block or allow Cookies in Internet Explorer
- Click the ‘Tools’ button and then click ‘Internet Options’
- Click the ‘Privacy’ tab and then under ‘Settings’ adjust the slider to suit your cookie preferences accordingly.
To block or allow Cookies in Mozilla Firefox
- Select ‘Preferences’ from the Firefox menu
- Select the ‘Privacy’ panel
- Set ‘Firefox will:’ to ‘Use Custom Settings for History’ and adjust the settings according to your preference.
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