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What are web browser Cookies?Updated Friday, 17 June 2016 - 4:56pm
Web Browser Cookies, simply known as 'Cookies' are small text files which are downloaded to your computer or mobile device when you visit a website or application. Your web browser (such as Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Safari or Google Chrome) then sends these cookies back to the website or application on each subsequent visit so that they can recognise you and remember things like personalised details or user preferences.
Cookies are very useful and do lots of different jobs which help to make your experience on websites as smooth as possible. For example, they let you move between web pages efficiently, remembering your preferences, and generally improving your experience (see below for more examples). They can also help to ensure that adverts you see online are more relevant to you and your interests.
They are referred to as session or persistent cookies, depending on how long they are used:
- Session cookies only last for your online session and disappear from your computer or device when you close your browser.
- Persistent cookies stay on your computer or device after the browser has been closed and last for the period of time specified in the cookie. These persistent cookies are activated each time you visit the site where the cookie was generated.