Last updated: 25 May 2018
What is a cookie?
A ‘cookie’ is simply a small text file that is downloaded to your computer or mobile by a website. It doesn’t actually come from the website, but rather the server where the website is located. (The hosting server).
Only that hosting server (the computer that the website is on) is able to retrieve or read the contents of that cookie.
Each cookie downloaded is unique to your internet browser. (Chrome, Firefox etc.). So, if you visit a website that uses 5 cookies with 2 browsers, you will have 10 cookie files downloaded to your computer. These files are really tiny and will use hardly any disc space at all.
A cookie file includes some anonymous information, such as a unique identifying number or code and the site name and some other digits and numbers and this information allows the website to remember things like your login details, or your site preferences or what’s in your shopping basket etc.
Cookies also have other tasks such as allowing you navigate between pages efficiently, storing your preferences and generally improving your experience of a website.
A Cookie file helps to make the interaction between you and the website you are visiting faster and easier.
Probably the most widely used purposes of a cookie are to allow you as a member, to be logged straight into your account area of the site without having to go through the log in process and also, to remember your name so it can say ‘Hi Pete’ when you login in etc.
Some people think the idea of a website storing information about them on their computer or mobile device is intrusive and if you feel this way, you don’t have to allow cookies if you don’t want to.
Simply turn them off in your browser.
Although cookies are generally harmless and intended purely to improve your user experience, many do include some information which might help to display targeted adverts based on your browsing history and adverts are never good at the best of times!
You can block just one, some, or all cookies from being downloaded in most browsers nowadays and delete existing ones, temporarily or permanently, but deleting cookie files may mean you will lose some functionality from any websites that they are associated with.
What cookies do WebMorf use?