What are cookies?
Cookies are small pieces of information that your web browser is sometimes asked by web sites to store. Each cookie has a name and a short value. Cookies do not install any software on your computer.
What do cookies do?
There are two types of cookies
▪ Session Cookies which only last until you close your web browser
▪ Permanent Cookies which persist until an expiry date
Session cookies are often used to keep track of your actions during a visit to a site - like the items you've added to your shopping cart or the fact that you've logged in to a site.
Permanent cookies are often used to store preferences for a site - like the size of font you've chosen.
Because they last between browsing sessions they can be used to track your browsing habits. Often permanent cookies are used by third parties (sites and services other than the one you're visiting) to personalise content or collect information - for example advertising services or collection of analytics information.
What does this mean for me?
Session cookies are generally harmless - that is they cannot be used to track you beyond your browsing session. Much of the time they are necessary for the correct functioning of a site.
Permanent cookies, especially those from third parties, can be used to track your browsing habits. This may range from a sign-in service (such as a social networking site) providing you with personalised content to advertisers targeting their adverts to your preferences.
What can I do about it?
Most web browsers allow you to block cookies. Be aware that if you block all cookies many sites (including this one) may not work correctly. Some web browsers allow you to block only third-party cookies or block permanent cookies but allow session cookies. Many browsers have plug-ins that allow you to manage these features at a greater level of detail.