Cookies are small text files that are placed on your computer by websites that you visit. They are widely used in order to make websites work more efficiently as well as to provide information to the owners of the site.
Some examples of cookie usage are:
- Storing information to personalise the website to your requirements
- A website that sells things may use a cookie to record items you have in a shopping basket
- Cookies can be used to record users behaviour on a website, for example to record the pages they have viewed
There are two different types of cookie that can be placed in your browser by a website:
- Session cookies are only used for the period you use the website, and are deleted when you close your web browser. A new cookie would then be placed in your web browser if you were to visit the same website again in the future.
- Persistent cookies remain in your browser once you have left the site and closed your web browser. The next time you visit the site the information in the cookie will be used to ensure the website works as set up at the previous visit, for example to display certain things on the homepage. Persistent cookies will expire if the website that set them is not visited again within a certain time.