What is a Cookie? A cookie is a text file containing small amounts of information which is placed by a website within a computer or device through your web browser; the cookie is subsequently sent back to the same website by the browser.
Cookies are designed to assist your computer or device to remember something the user has done within that website e.g. remembering that the user has logged in, or which buttons have been clicked.
There are specific cookies related to knowing a user is logged in or not. These are known as authentication cookies. Authentication cookies are important for the website to know what information to show you, or if it needs to ask you to log in.
If you wish to find out more about cookies, we find this website quite helpful www.aboutcookies.org
Session cookies – only last for the duration of your browsing session on the website. Your web browser would normally delete these when you close the browser.
Persistent cookies – these last longer than the browser session e.g. if you log into a website and then return to the website some days later, the website knows who you are and displays a welcome message to you. Persistent cookies enable this to happen.
First party cookies – these are set by the domain (or sub-domain) in the web browser.
Third party cookies – these are set by a different domain to the one on the website you are looking at. Third party cookies are used for a variety of reasons. These are outlined in the third party cookie section.