Don't Panic - there is nothing sinister about cookies!
Here is what Cookies Don't Do
Cookies do not act maliciously on computer systems. They are merely text files that can be deleted at any time - they are not plug ins nor are they programs.
Cookies cannot be used to spread viruses and they cannot access your hard drive but, This does not mean that cookies are not relevant to a user's privacy and anonymity on the Internet, see below...
Cookies cannot read your hard drive to find out information about you; however, any personal information that you give to a Web site, including credit card information, will most likely be stored in a cookie unless you have turned off the cookie feature in your browser. In only this way are cookies a threat to privacy. A cookie will only contain private information that you freely provide to a Web site.
Okay that's what they don't do, now lets tell you what they are used for.
Cookies have been used almost since the inception of the internet, but ridiculous laws from those meddling EU officials in Brussels, Belgium have dictated to all website owners in the EU that we must tell you all about them, if your are surfing from within the EU and give you the option to turn them off, which is an ill-conceived idea as without them some sites may not function correctly.
Of course, none of these laws apply to folks in the USA or the rest of the world, where officals have a lot more sense and actually understand how the internet works, just countries who are members of the EU! You can see why we want out!!
The EU - where common sense, fairness and justice has never prevailed, it's just one huge gravy-train for the officals that run it, paid for by tax payers. You can see why we want out!! - End of Rant
What are cookies?
Cookies are very tiny text files of just a few dozen bytes, containing a string of characters that can be placed on your computer or mobile device that uniquely identify your browser or device.
They are not used for spying on you and cannot be used to hack your device or transfer viruses.
What does that mean?
For example a cookie will record that you may be using the Internet Explorer web browser on a Smartphone, or Google Chrome on a desktop computer to surf the web.
Where are Cookies stored?
In Windows Systems they are stored in the Users/App Data folder and nowhere else, they can easily be deleted manually, or with a system clean-up utility if desired.
Some cookies have a 'use by' date and will 'expire' naturally, on their own, after a set time.
What are cookies used for, and why are they necessary?
Cookies allow a site owner (or services used by that site) to know if your computer or device has visited that site or service before.
Why is that important?
This is quite important for the owner of the site as it allows the site owner to see how many times someone has visited a site or webpage, and it helps them very much in determining how popular the site/page may be by the amount of returning visits.
Cookies can then be used to help the owner understand how the site or service is being used.
How Cookies Help You
Cookies can help you navigate between pages efficiently, help remember your preferences, and generally improve your browsing experience as a whole.
Cookies can also help ensure any ads you see online are likely more relevant to you and your interests.
Cookies come in four 'flavors'
There are generally four categories of cookies:
- Strictly Necessary
Find out more about each cookie category below.
Strictly Necessary Cookies.
These cookies are essential, as they enable you to move around the site or service and use its features, such as accessing log-in or secure areas, if you turn them off you will not be able to use the site properly, as they are used for security purposes.
These cookies collect information about how you have used the site or Service, for example,
Information related to a unique username you have provided, helping to reduce server load our end.
These cookies may also be used to allow us to know that you have logged in so that we can serve you fresher content than a new user who has never logged in before.
The information collected is used to improve how the Service works.
These cookies allow us to remember how you’re logged in, whether you chose to no longer see advertisements, whether you made an edit to an article on the Service while logged out, when you logged in or out, the state or history of Service tools you’ve used.
These cookies also allow us to tailor the Service to provide enhanced features and content for you and to remember how you’ve customized the Service in other ways, such as customizing any toolbars we offer.
The information these cookies collect may be anonymous, and they are not used to track your browsing activity on other sites or services.
4. Targeting Cookies.
This site does not use this type of cookie directly.
Targeting Cookies are used specifically by our advertising partners or other third party partners.This helps them deliver advertising that they may have already deemed is relevant to your interests.
These cookies can remember that your device has visited a site or service, and may also be able to track your device’s browsing activity on other sites or services other than this one.
They may also used by companies such as Google and Bing to detect and prevent 'click fraud' and to protect the companies they are working on behalf of.
Third Party advertisers may share the data they have collected with other organizations outside of this site over which we have have no control. this then helps their advertisers measure the effectiveness of an advertising campaign, or other statistics.
How long will cookies stay on my device?
The length of time a cookie will stay on your computer or mobile device depends on whether it is a “persistent” or “session” cookie.
Session cookies will only stay on your device until you stop browsing. Persistent cookies stay on your computer or mobile device until they expire or are deleted.
First and third party cookies
First-party cookies are cookies that are used by this site only. In all cases these are just for visitor analytical data.
This data really helps us to make our site better for you.
No personally identifiable information is gathered.
Analytics data we collect usually records the following:
- The IP address you are browsing from
- Your country of Origin
- Date and time
- Pages visited
- Time on site
- The device you accessed the site with
- Some exit links
Third Party Cookies
How to control and delete cookies
Note that if you set your browser to disable cookies, you may not be able to access certain parts of our Service and other parts of our Service may not work properly.
You can find out more information cookie settings at third-party information sites, such as www.allaboutcookies.org