Cookies

What are cookies?

Cookies are small text files located in browser directories. When you visit a site that uses cookies for the first time, a cookie is downloaded onto your PC. The next time you visit that site, your PC checks to see if it has a cookie that is relevant (that is, one containing the site name) and sends the information contained in that cookie back to the site. The site then 'knows' that you have been there before, and in some cases, tailors what pops up on screen to take account of that fact.

Are they good or bad?

They are beneficial because they can record preferences and store data (e.g. what's in your online shopping cart). They can make sites easier to navigate and create a more personal browsing experience. The negative aspect of cookies is that information about you, however benign, is collected and stored by a website and can be used to market services to you or shared with a third party who may wish to do the same.

General cookie information for website users