Are Cookies Bad For You?

“Selling cookies helped me to realize that you needed to have a certain way to communicate with people.”

~ Maria Bartiromo

What Are Cookies

Will You Choose Cookies?

Cookies (not the scrumptious ones) have been around in IT for a while, but have recently been top of the news again.

A new data protection law, enforceable from May 26th,  will require all websites to obtain users’ opt-in consent before they install cookies. And all non-compliant websites may be subject to a fine.

What does this have to do with you?

You may have noticed that you’ve been asked to give your permission for a website or a company to use cookies – but what are we talking about here? What are cookies?

A cookie will “record” what you’re looking at and will take note of various things that you do whilst on that web page. The site then knows that you have been there before, and in some cases will select what you first see on the screen.

Cookies aren’t “saved” on each website that you visit – should you visit (without adding log in details) the same website but from a different machine it won’t know who you are or where you’ve looked. Cookies are downloaded onto your PC. When you return to the same site, your computer or laptop will check to see if it has a cookie that is relevant and it then relays information back to the site.

Are cookies bad for you then?

Not always. There have always been ways of opting out; the law has just been changed so that you have to opt in. Without cookies, shopping online would be a lot more difficult – they are used, for example, for storing the information when you add items to your “shopping cart”; and rather than you having to trawl through larger sites looking at irrelevant things, they will guide you to where you want to be.

We hope that this clears up any confusion you may have had over cookies. However, if you would like any further clarification on this, or any other aspect of IT then please do get in touch. In the meantime we wish you, as always, continued happy and safe computing.

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