What Are Browser Cookies?

We bet a lot of the time when you're browsing a website online, one of the first things that pops-up on or at the bottom of your screen is a notification about browser cookies. But, what are cookies and why are you being asked to accept them?

What are cookies?

Cookies keep bits of information about you. They are text files stored on your computer so that, should you visit a website more than once, the website will recognise that you’ve been there before. It typically contains two things: a site name (so it can recognise it the next time you visit) and a unique user ID (so they know what computer is visiting)

Why do websites ask you to accept cookies?

Cookies are a way of getting information about you so that they can tailor your experience on a website and show items they think might be interesting to you. Some cookies will track how long you spend on a website or what links you click on. If you’re shopping online, they can also be used to store data on what is in your shopping cart, adding items as you click. 

How do I find out what information the cookies have gathered about me, or will gather about me?

As GDPR comes into place, some websites will start to display quite prominently their cookie policy. GDPR is about letting people have more control over their data, and what information companies can keep about people that use their website. Check out all our information about GDPR here.

I said yes to allowing cookies from a website. Can I remove the cookies that are stored on my computer?

If you’re using an iPhone, iPad or iPod and browse the internet on Safari:

Go to Settings and scroll down to Safari. Click on Safari and select Clear History and Website Data.

You can also 'Block All Cookies' if you want to.

If you’re using Chrome on your computer, mobile or tablet:

At the top right, click More (the three little dots next to the URL bar). Click More tools > Clear browsing data.

If you’re using internet explorer on your PC:

Go to your home menu on your desktop. Select Control Panel. Go to Internet Options. Look for Browsing History, Click Delete, and select Cookies.

There are lots of different ways to browse the internet, but a quick google search should be able to help you out if we haven't mentioned your device, browser or operating system above!

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