Cookies

What are cookies

A cookie is just a small text file which stores information.

When you visit certain websites it stores some information in a text file and then the website can refer back to this information whenever it needs to.

Cookies are used to make your browsing experience faster and more effective. In most cases they just store a number that has been allocated to your browsing session. This allows you to move from page to page within a website without having to log-in repeatedly.

Are they dangerous?

They are not dangerous to your computer in any way, they are not executable programmes, viruses or code and cannot read information that exists on your computer. Cookies are also not a threat to privacy as they only store information that you volunteered to that particular website anyway.

So why are people concerned?

The major concern with cookies is that of third party cookies (a cookie is issued by a site other than the one you are currently surfing, maybe by an advertisement on that website) or tracking cookies which can be used to record peoples browsing histories. This is causing concerns over privacy as people do not want it recorded what they have been looking at.

Cookies can only be accessed by a website with the specified domain and path.

Types of Cookie

Session cookies only exist until you close your browser and end the current browsing session. Session cookies are never written on the hard drive.

Permanent cookies (also called persistent or stored cookies) store a text file on your computer so if you visit the same website again it.

How to manage cookies

All webs browsers allow you to control cookies by accepting and rejecting all cookies or certain types of cookie. Instructions for the most popular browsers are below:

Google Chrome

Tools (spanner icon) > Settings > Under the bonnet.
Select 'Connect Settings' In the 'Privacy' section.
In the 'Cookies' section you can choose your preferred settings.

Internet Explorer

Tools > Internet Options.
Click the 'Privacy' tab.
Move the slider up or down based on your preferred settings.

Firefox

Tools > Options.
Click the 'Privacy' tab.
Select 'Use custom settings for history' from the history drop down list.
You can now select your preferred settings for cookies.

Safari

Settings > Preferences.
Click the 'Security' tab.
You can now select your preferred settings for cookies.

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Cookies

Cookies need to be placed on your computer as to ensure that your browsing experience with us is enhanced. Please continue to browse if you are happy for us to do so. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out about these cookies and how they are used and how to change your settings.

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