Have you ever visited a website and then almost immediately a pop-up appears asking if you want to accept or reject cookies? If the answer is yes, then it’s important to know what cookies are and how they work.
What is a cookie?
Internet cookies are small files that are sent from the website you are visiting to your browser. The browser (Chrome, Safari, Firefox) then processes and stores the small file. Information commonly stored includes your device, location, log-in information, online activity and more. Different types of cookies include:
Session Cookies: Are deleted immediately after closing the browser. These are commonly seen to keep items in a cart after clicking on another website
Persistent Cookies: Save data such as username and password data for an extended period of time
Third-Party Cookies: Store online activity (what site you visited, how long you spent on it, what you clicked on). Advertisers specifically utilize third-party cookies to target individuals with specific ads.
- They grant access to websites
- Information such as name, address, and phone number auto-fill when filling out an online form
- Items left in a shopping basket will be there when you return to the site
- The login process is easier with a saved username and password
- Third-party cookies can contain a significant amount of information such as online behavior, preferences, and location that is then used for advertising
Only accept cookies if you know the website is secure. Next to the URL address, if there is a padlock symbol, that means the site is secure.
How to delete stored cookies?
Friendly reminder if you delete cookies, you will lose stored information and will have to reenter it such as usernames, passwords etc.
- Open Chrome and click on the More menu in the top right-hand corner.
- Go to Settings > Advanced > Clear Browsing Data.
- Click the checkbox next to Cookies and other site data.
- Select Clear data.
To block specific cookies copy and past this address into the address bar and hit enter: chrome://settings/siteData
- Open Firefox and click on the Menu button (three horizontal lines).
- From the menu, choose Options.
- Select Privacy and Security in the left-hand menu.
- Click on the Manage Data link.
- Choose Remove All Shown.
- Go to Safari > Preferences.
- Click on Privacy.
- Select Manage Website Data.
- Click on Remove All.
- Go into the “Settings” menu on your device.
- Scroll down to “Safari” and click “Advanced,” then “Website data”
- Tap on “Clear history and website data” to clear cookies.
- Go to the “Settings” menu.
- Look for “Privacy & security” and select “Clear private data.”
- Select “Cookies & active logins.”
- After you have made your selection, tap “Clear data.”