What is a “cookie”?
A cookie (“browser cookie” or “HTTP cookie”) is a small file consisting of letters and numbers that is stored on any terminal with Internet access (computer, mobile phone, tablet etc.) and is installed through the request emitted from a web-server to a browser (ex: Firefox, Chrome).
Remember: “Cookies” do not include software programs, viruses or spyware and can not access the information located on the user’s hard drive. Cookies do not request personal information and do not personally identify internet users. A cookie consists of a name and content, has a fixed lifetime and can be accessed again by the web-server when a user returns on the website that is associated with the webserver.
Types of cookies:
- Session cookies – they are temporally stored in the browser history that memorizes them until the user leaves that website or closes the browser window.
- Permanent cookies – they are stored, depending on the preset lifetime, on the hard drive of the computer or device. Permanent cookies include the ones that are placed by other websites than the one the user is visiting at that moment – known as “third party cookies” – that can be used anonymously to memorise the user’s interests, so that relevant advertisements can be delivered to the interface.
What are the advantages of using cookies?
A cookie contains information that links the user to certain websites. If a browser accesses that web-server again, this can read the information that is already stored and react accordingly. Cookies provide users with a pleasant navigation experience and support the efforts of many websites to offer comfortable services, such as: online confidentiality preferences, website language options, shopping carts or relevant advertising.
What is the lifetime of a cookie?
The lifetime of a cookie may be different depending on the purpose for which it is placed. Some cookies are used exclusively for one session – they are no longer retained after the user leaves the site. Permanent cookies – are retained and reused whenever the user returns to that site but can be deleted at any time by the user.
What are cookies placed by third parties?
Some content on certain sites may be placed on the accessed website by third parties through banners, boxes or links – and all of these tools may contain cookies. They are called “third party cookies” because they are not placed by the owner of the website, and third-party providers are subject to the site’s current laws and privacy policies.
How cookies are used by this site
Visiting this site may place cookies for:
- Site performance analysis
- Visitors analysis
What type of information is stored and accessed through cookies?
Cookies keep information in a small text file that allows a website to recognize a browser. The web server will recognize the browser until the cookie expires or is deleted. The cookie stores important information that enhances the Internet browsing experience (for example: language settings to access a site, keeping a user logged in on the webmail account, online banking security, keeping products in the shopping cart)
Why are cookies important for the Internet?
Cookies are the core of the Internet’s efficient operation, helping to generate a friendly browsing experience, adapted to the preferences and interests of each user. Denying or disabling cookies can make some sites unusable.
By denying or disabling cookies you will still receive online advertising, but it will not be adapted to your preferences and interests, revealed by your browsing behavior.
Examples of important uses of cookies (which do not require authentication of a user through an account):
- Content and services adapted to the user preferences – news, weather, sports, maps, public and governmental services, entertainment sites and travel services
- Offers adapted to user interests – password retention, language preferences (for example: displaying search results in (the) Romanian language)
- Child protection filters for internet content (family mode options, safe navigation features)
- Limited ad distribution frequency – limiting the number of displays of an ad for a particular user on a site
- More relevant advertising for the user
- Measurement, optimization and analysis – such as confirming a certain level of traffic on a website, the type of content viewed and how a user reaches a website (for example: through search engines, directly or from other websites etc.). Websites run these analysis for front pages’ improvement in the users’ benefit.