What Are Cookies?
A cookie is a small text file downloaded to your computer when you access websites. Typically, they contain the following information: a site name and unique user ID, the duration of the cookie’s abilities and effects, and a random number. As a rule, cookies cannot be used to reveal your identity or personally identifying information.
Generally, the role of cookies is beneficial, making your interaction with frequently-visited sites smoother with no extra effort on your part. Without cookies, online shopping would be much harder and some websites would become far less interactive.
Session / Transient Cookies
These cookies expire when you close your web browser and typically store information in the form of a session identification that does not personally identify the user.
These cookies remain on your computer after you have closed your web browser until either they expire (persistent cookies are set with expiration dates) or are deleted. Persistent cookies are used to collect identifying information about the user, such as Web surfing behaviour or preferences for a specific Web site.
First and Third Party Cookies
First party cookies are those created by the website you are visiting to support the services on offer, such as maintaining your shopping cart. By default, first-party cookies are allowed by every Web browser. Third party cookies are created by a website with a domain name other than the one you are currently visiting. By default, third-party cookies are often allowed by a Web browser; however, they may be blocked by changing your browser settings, as they are widely used by advertisers to track browsing history.
Most browsers allow you to turn off cookies or to receive a warning before a cookie is stored on your hard drive; please refer to your browser’s help facility for guidance. Further information is available from the following sites: www.allaboutcookies.org and https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-pecr/cookies-and-similar-technologies/.