What are website cookies?

The “Accept Cookies” notification that you get when visiting a website is impossible to miss. Probably you are accepting cookies without knowing their final purpose, or how will they be used. Sometimes you can’t even view the website if you don’t accept the cookie policy. But what are cookies and what are they doing?

What is a cookie?

A cookie is a small text file that is placed on your computer, tablet or smartphone when you visit a website. This text file stores all kinds of information that can be used during your next visit to the website. For example, the website will remember the language you selected or which product you have added to the online shopping cart. A cookie also makes sure you stay logged in when you return to the website.

Cookies in all shapes and sizes

There are 3 different kinds of cookies which all have a different function:

  • Functional cookies:
    A website can’t work without functional cookies. These cookies keep track of the products you have put in your online shopping cart, so these products will also stay in your shopping cart when you go to another page of the website. Without these cookies your shopping cart would be empty every time you go to another page, and of course that is not something we want to happen.
  • Analytical cookies:
    These cookies are placed to, for example, keep track of visitor statistics. Analytical cookies help tracking how many visitors the website has and how many times a particular article is read.
  • Tracking cookies:
    These cookies follow your behavior online. You have probably experienced this yourself, after visiting a webshop, and later that day you see an advertisement for the product you browsed on another website.
    How does this work exactly?
    Website A has given an advertiser permission to place cookies so that the advertiser knows that you have visited website A. If website B has also given the same advertiser permission to place cookies, the advertiser knows that you have visited website A and website B. In this way the advertiser obtains more information about what you find  interesting, and you might see an advertisement from website A on website C.

How do you consent to cookies?

When visiting websites, a pop-up appears with information about the cookies the website uses. Different methods are used to accept cookies. You can, for example, accept cookies automatically just by scrolling the page. Other examples prevent you from accessing the website until you have accepted the cookie policy, giving you an option to click on “Agree or Disagree”.

Your consent is stored in a cookie for as long as the cookie is stored on your computer, tablet or smartphone. 

Can you delete cookies?

Yes, you can! How you do this depends on the internet browser. If you don’t know how this works in your favorite internet browser, you can use the help function.

After deleting the cookies, you will lose your preferences on any website you have visited in the past.  Whether you make the choice to delete the cookies is entirely up to you. You will have to consider whether you go for convenience or for privacy.

It is also possible to restrict the use of cookies by websites. You can refuse cookies in the settings of your internet browser. Using the “incognito mode” will also prevent any cookies from being stored on your computer once the browser is closed. Ad-blockers browser extensions help you filter page content and can block advertisements or banners.

Cookies under the GDPR

The reason we focus on cookies today is because the GDPR will implement stricter rules for cookies. As we have stated above, cookies can store all kinds of information, and after 25 May 2018 you need to give explicit consent when visiting a website.

You will have to actively click on “Accept” before cookies are loaded on your computer. The nature of the cookies should also be easily accessible through link, the Cookie Policy should be easily accessible and identify what cookies are being used.

With the upcoming GDPR in our mind we have changed our cookie policy. By accepting our cookies we can ultimately provide you with better information and help you directly via the live chat.

Looking for more information about GDPR? You can find more useful tips below:

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