A cookie is file saved on the user’s computer by the provider of the web service. In practice cookies are small, anonymous text files saved inside a user’s web browser cache. The web server or service can read the cookie on later visits to the same site, enabling the service to recognize the browser and user as the same visitor as earlier. The cookie may only be used by the server that saved it in the first place and the user may not be identified as a specific person based on cookie data. Cookies pose no threat to the user’s devices.
There are two types of cookies: session cookies and persistent cookies. Session cookies expire as a user quits using a web service, whereas persistent cookies are stored in the user’s browser for a fixed time or until deleted by the user. Cookies make websites easier to use and enable some functionalities like recalling a session, personifying the website for the user and making log-ins easier.
So called first party cookies are placed by the web site that is shown in the address bar. Besides this, cookies from third parties such as advertising networks, measurement and tracking service providers, advertising technology vendors and social media services are used.
Purpose of cookies
How to influence
You can erase your web browser’s cookie cache through the web browser settings. Erasing a cookie will delete the unique identifier stored inside the browser cache along with the web usage profile attached thereto. Erasing cookie cache will not prevent the storage of new cookies in the future. More information how to erase or prevent cookies can be found from the manuals of that specific browser’s developer.
You should notice that cookie options are browser specific. This mean that if you use several browsers, you have to select the options from each browser one by one.