What is a cookie ?

Many websites use "cookies" to store information between your visits.

A common use is to store your preferences. For example, on a multi-lingual site you may be asked to select the language you prefer, but subsequently you'll find that you automatically get the right language. This is because your preference has been stored in a cookie.

A cookie is a small file while is created on your own computer. It's created when you first access a website and subsequently updated each time you re-visit the site. It may contain useful information (as in the language example), or it may contain some information you'd prefer to keep private, such as your purchasing history or product preferences (for on-line shopping sites),and so the use of cookies should be strictly controlled.


Control of cookies

If you take a look at the number of cookies stored on your computer you'll be astonished. There may be several hundreds, or even thousands, and they've probably all been created without you even knowing about it.

What can you do ?

In the "Preferences" or "Options" of your browser you may be able to disable cookies completely, but then you'll certainly find that many of your favourite sites simply don't work any more.

You can also set your browser to ask each time whether you want to allow a cookie to be created, but you'll soon get tired of being asked all the time.

Usually the best option is to allow the cookies to be created, but to check them occasionally and remove the unwanted ones. There is a lot of software available to you for this purpose, and you should select and install the one which seems best suited to your needs.


Cookies on this site

Some interactive features of this site use cookies and may not function correctly without them. These cookies are not harmful, and do not invade your privacy. They are used only to provide enhanced functionality to the site.

For full information on this site's use of cookies, please look at the Privacy Policy on the Copyright page.