What you need to know about cookies

They used to be something for the biscuit tin, but now cookies represent an ever-more vital part of using the internet. We explain what cookies are and how a new EU Directive is there to help make the web more transparent...

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A new rule to protect user privacy online has come into force...so you can use the web in a more transparent way.

The EU directive means websites must tell you how they use cookies.

Hold on...what’s a cookie?

We're not talking about biscuits, but a small text file that websites download to your computer.

Cookies are generally helpful and help improve the user experience when you browse:

  • They remember login details;
  • They remember preferences;
  • They help the site work better

Other cookies can help web owners understand:

  • How people are using their site;
  • What people are looking for;
  • The type of adverts people might prefer

Right...so, what's the change again?

 When you first visit a website, you should be told how it uses cookies.
 
UK websites should have started showing this information from May 26, 2012.

You can turn off cookies in your browser settings. Check your help files to find out how.
 
Cookies aren't all bad, you just have to watch what you eat...

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