What are cookies
Cookies are information packets stored by web browsers that have been sent by web servers after user's visiting a website.
The information is then sent back to the server each time the browser requests a page from the server. Thus, it enables a web server to identify and track web browsers.
What are cookies for?
Cookies are most commonly used for:
- Storing login information for a user in order not to be necessary to re-login on every visit.
- Recognizing the type of device a user is browsing and the preferences applied to optimize the website especially for the device.
- Creating statistics that help website owners to understand their users requirements and to improve their structure and content.
What type of cookies are used?
There are two main kinds of cookies:
- Session cookies and persistent cookies.
Session cookies: are temporarily used and expire as soon as the website or browser is closed. They are used to track the activity of a user on a website during a single visit. This means session cookies are detected from the user's computer when he closes his browser.
Persistent cookies: remain on your computer hard drive until either deleted or reach their expiry date. When you return to a website and it requires you to login again, it is usually due to the persistent cookies expiry. This helps to increase security while maintaining accessibility.
Do cookies include personal data?
Cookies may store personal information if there is such a need for example creating account. However, it is required by data protection law that users are informed about collection of personal data. Of course this data will be encrypted to render it inaccessible for unauthorized users.
By default all browsers are configured to accept cookies. However, these setting my be changed to block cookies entirely, or to inform the user each time they are used.