What are cookies?
For almost any modern website to work properly, it needs to collect certain basic information on its users. To do this, a site will create files known as cookies – which are small text files – on its users’ computers. These cookies are designed to allow the website to recognise its users on subsequent visits, or to authorise other designated websites to recognise these users for a particular purpose.
Cookies do a lot of different jobs which make your experience of the Internet much smoother and more interactive. For instance, they are used to remember your preferences on sites you visit often, to remember your user ID and the contents of your shopping baskets, and to help you navigate between pages more efficiently. They also help ensure that the advertisements that you see online are more relevant to you and your interests. Much, though not all, of the data that they collect is anonymous, though some of it is designed to detect browsing patterns and approximate geographical location to improve user experience.
Some websites may also contain images called ‘web beacons’ (also known as ‘clear gifs’). Web beacons only collect limited information, including a cookie number, a timestamp, and a record of the page on which they are placed. Websites may also carry web beacons placed by third party advertisers. These beacons do not carry any personally identifiable information and are only used to track the effectiveness of a particular campaign (for example, by counting the number of visitors). Information collected by cookies and web beacons is not personally identifiable.
How can I manage cookies?
This depends on what computer operating system and browser you are using. We've explained below how to allow or block cookies for a specific site when you are a Google Chrome user.
- Open Chrome.
- At the top right corner of the window, click "More" > "Settings".
- Scroll to the bottom and click "Advanced".
- Under "Privacy and security", click "Content Settings".
- Click "Cookies".
- Next to "Block", "Clear on exit" or "Allow", click "Add".
- Enter the web address
To create an exception for an entire domain, insert [*.] before the domain name. For example, [*.]google.com will match drive.google.com and calendar.google.com. You can also put an IP address or a web address that doesn't start with http://.
- Click Add.
To remove an exception you don't want anymore, look to the right of the website and click More, and then select Remove. Note: If you’re using your Chromebook at work or school, you might not be able to change this setting. For more help, contact your administrator.
For more information on how to manage cookies in Chrome, visit Google Chrome Help.