Cookies are harmless text files that web servers can store on your computer’s hard drive when you visit a website. They allow the server to recognise you when you revisit and to improve your experience on the website.
These last until you close your browser. They recognise you as you move between pages, for example recording the items you add to an online shopping basket. These cookies may also help maintain security.
These stay on your machine until they expire or you or your browser delete them. Many are built with automatic deletion dates to help ensure your hard drive doesn’t get overloaded. These cookies often store and re-enter your login information or your language preferences, so you don’t need to remember the details.
Additionally, cookies can be first- or third-party cookies. First-party cookies are owned and created by the website you’re viewing. Third-party cookies are owned and created by an independent company, usually a company providing a service to the owners of the website.
Internet cookies are common and do not harm your system - they just store or gather site information. They help you do things online, like remembering login details so you don’t have to re-enter them when revisiting a site.
To enable or disable cookies, follow the instructions provided by your browser (usually located within the ‘Help’, ‘Tools’ or ‘Edit’ facility). Alternatively, an external resource is available at All about cookies providing specific information about cookies and how to manage them.
Date of Last Revision: 27 September, 2016
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