Cookie Consent Solution for GDPR and CCPA Compliance

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Add cookie consent banners to all popular Content Management Systems.

We automatically block cookies from third parties such as Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, Hotjar, and YouTube until you get user consent.

Customize the layout, content, colors, and behavior of your cookie banner easily.

An extensive database of unique cookies with detailed descriptions and purpose-specific categorizations.

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CookieYes blocks all cookies on your website prior to user consent

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I had some challenges to set up initially the change consent banner on my wix site. The support team helped via live chat and fixed it with great ideas and knowledge.

It is really important that we have tight integration with the websites we make (Squarespace) and a proper customisable cookie option.

Excellent solution to rendering my website GDPR and CCPA compliant with minimal fuss.

Very positive so far. I like the features and how easy it was to set up and install.

CookieYes scans your website for cookies and adds them to your sites cookie list automatically.

Automatically block third-party cookie scripts on your website prior to receiving user consent.

Lets users selectively enable or disable different categories of cookies when giving consent.

CookieYes creates and maintains a record of users consents and their cookie preferences in a consent log.

You can manually add cookies and scripts to CookieYes under different cookie categories.

Lets you completely customize the look and behavior of your cookie consent banner.

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Different consent types (Implicit, Explicit, Custom, and Info)

Built-in Do Not Track (DNT) feature

Advanced cookie banner customization

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Built-in Do Not Track (DNT) feature

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Built-in Do Not Track (DNT) feature

Scan up to 8000 web pages at a time

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Built-in Do Not Track (DNT) feature

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Any information, whether oral or written, obtained from the CookieYes website, services, tools, or comments does not constitute any form of legal and/or regulatory advice. If any kind of legal assistance is required, users should consult with an attorney, a lawyer, or a law firm.

Free Cookie Consent

A Free Cookie Consent solution for your website to comply with ePrivacy Directive & GDPR.

Create your Cookie Consent code in 1 minute.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Create a Cookie Consent for your website

Language missing? We accept user submissions! Contact us.

Name the button that would open the Preferences Center

Leave blank if you are not sure.Users should be able to change their cookies preferences. Include a link/button anywhere on your page so that users can open the Preferences Center.

IDs, classes, tag names can be used as a DOM selector:open_preferences_center

Example of a link to include on your page that will open the Preferences Center:

A Privacy Policy (or Cookies Policy) should be present on your site to detail more information about your use of cookies. If you have a Privacy Policy, link to it from the Cookie Consent notice banner.

Enter a valid link to your Privacy Policy:

Please enter a valid URL. Example of a valid URL:

3. Add and organize your JavaScript scripts

This is anoptional step, but you can organize your JavaScript scripts directly from this page.

For example, you can copy-paste your Google AdWords code here and select Targeting & Advertising and we will automatically convert your script code as required by the Cookie Consent tool.

There are four levels of cookie consent available:

(ie. account login related cookies)

(ie. Google AdSense, Google AdWords)

Finished. Copy your Cookie Consent code below.

How to integrate Free Cookie Consent on your website

Copy the generated code from Step 4 above and add it on your website.

, add the corresponding consent level:

for strictly necessary scripts that are loaded regardless of user choice

for functionality scripts, such as language preference scripts

for tracking scripts, such as Google Analytics

for targeting scripts, such as Google Ads remarketing

!– Login Cookies — script type=text/plain cookie-consent=strictly-necessary src=/js/login-session.js/script !– Google Analytics — script type=text/plain cookie-consent=tracking (function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m)i[GoogleAnalyticsObject]=r;i[r]=i[r]function() (i[r].q=i[r].q[]).push(arguments),i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), sertBefore(a,m) )(window,document,script,// ga(create, GOOGLE_PROPERTY_ID_GOES_HERE, auto); ga(send, pageview); /scriptLive PreviewMake your site & app compliant in minutesFree Privacy Policy GeneratorFree Terms and Conditions GeneratorFree Cookies Policy GeneratorFree Return & Refund Policy GeneratorFree Disclaimer GeneratorFree EULA GeneratorFree Cookie Consent

Free Privacy Policy Sample Template

Free GDPR Privacy Policy Sample Template

Free CCPA Privacy Policy Sample Template

Free Terms and Conditions Sample Template

Free Cookies Policy Sample Template

Free Return and Refund Sample Template

Free GDPR Data Processing Sample Template

Please note that legal information, including legal templates and legal policies, is not legal advice.

The reproduction, distribution, display, or transmission of the content is strictly prohibited, unless authorized by FreePrivacyPolicy. All other company & product names may be trademarks of the respective companies with which they are associated.


(PHP 4 = 4.1.0, PHP 5, PHP 7, PHP 8)

An associativearrayof variables passed to the current script via HTTP Cookies.


Assuming the name cookie has been set earlier

The above example will output something similar to:

This is a superglobal, or automatic global, variable. This simply means that it is available in all scopes throughout a script. There is no need to doglobal $variable;to access it within functions or methods.

Dots (.) and spaces ( ) in cookie names are being replaced with underscores (_).

beware, dots (.) in cookie names are replaces by underscores (_)

Cookies with the same name the first cookie is used. Clients will send cookies with longer path before cookies with shorter path. This comes from RFC 6265 which says Cookies with longer paths are listed before cookies with shorter paths.. So you get the best matching cookie for your current request.


Cookie Clicker 2

Welcome to Cookie Clicker 2, the idle and free online game.The best idle game where you bake cookies to rule the universe. The user clicks on the giant cookie and gets cookies. The user spend earned cookies to increase the ability to earn cookies by purchasing assets or upgrade assets. The game has hundreds of achievements and milestone numbers of cookies. It is an addictive and loved game.

At first, Click the cookie on the screen to get a cookie per click. You can buy a Cursor item when you get 15 cookies. It helps you auto-click on the cookie and earn one cookie every 10 seconds. When your cookies increase, you can buy new assets or upgrades your item, which will help you earn more cookies each period, even you do not click on the cookie.

you use your cookies to buy a new item and upgrade for earning cookies faster. it like you use your money to invest and get more money after that. The new and popular game will draw you into a comfortable Cookie world without disappointing you.

You are now an investor, and the following tips will help.

Cookie Clicker aims to earn as fast cookies as possible. Cookie clicker is an endless game. It can last until your grandchild celebrating their 100th birthday party. As such these tips focus on progressing more quickly. The game can be separated into 4 main phases: Early Game, Mid Game, Late Game, and Infinity Game.

Click on the Cookie help you a lot in the early phase. At the first, It is recommended to buy 1 Cursor and 5 grandmas. At that phase, you buy about 25 Grandmas, 15 Farms and 15 Mines. You buy Factories for the move to the next phase.

The calculation is the main key to success. For example

– 1 Cursor price 27 cookies and bakes 1 cookie per 10 seconds. It means you spent 270 cookies to produce 1 cookie per second;

– 1 Grandma price 115 cookies and bake 1 cookie per second; It means you spent 115 cookies to produce 1 cookie per second.

– 1 Farm price 1100 cookies and bake 8 cookies per second. it means you spent 1100/8= 137 cookies to produce 1 cookie per second.

You should buy grandma in this case;

– 1 Cursor price 27 cookies and bakes 1 cookie per 10 seconds. It means you spent 270 cookies to produce 1 cookie per second;

– you bought 3 Grandma, the 4th Grandma have price 153 cookies and bake 1 cookie per second; It means you spent 153 cookies to produce 1 cookie per second.

– 1 Farm price 1100 cookies and bake 8 cookies per second. it means 1100/8= 137 cookies to produce 1 cookie per second.

You should buy Farm in this case if you have more than 1100 cookies. But dont save your cookies too long. Invest it in a suitable time, this why we recommend you buy 5 Grandma first.

In this phase, most of the time is waiting for your machine to auto produces cookies for you. 1 cookie per click is so little compare with 1000 cookies per second produced by your machines. you should leave the game and do something else. Hourly comeback and upgrade item. The price of the upgrade item is too expensive. You should focus on buying more assets, choose the most affected asset, and hunt Achievements.

The late game is focused on buying the most expensive assets and upgrades. By buying upgrades, Cursors and Grandmas become much more valuable.

The Ascend option shows you and increases your prestige level.If you choose it, it will reset your entire game but progress is a little quicker each time.

following is unit of Cookie Clicker:

thousand, million, billion, trillion, quadrillion, quintillion, sextillion, septillion, octillion, nonillion, decillion, undecillion, duodecillion, tredecillion, quattuordecillion, quindecillion, sexdecillion, septendecillion, octodecillion, novemdecillion, vigintillion, unvigintillion, duovigintillion, trevigintillion, quattuorvigintillion, quinvigintillion, sexvigintillion, septenvigintillion, octovigintillion, novemvigintillion, trigintillion, untrigintillion, duotrigintillion, tretrigintillion, quattuortrigintillion, quintrigintillion, sextrigintillion, septentrigintillion, octotrigintillion, novemtrigintillion, quadragintillion, unquadragintillion, duoquadragintillion, trequadragintillion, quattuorquadragintillion, quinquadragintillion, sexquadragintillion, septenquadragintillion, octoquadragintillion, novemquadragintillion, quinquagintillion, unquinquagintillion, duoquinquagintillion, trequinquagintillion, quattuorquinquagintillion, quinquinquagintillion, sexquinquagintillion, septenquinquagintillion, octoquinquagintillion, novemquinquagintillion, sexagintillion, unsexagintillion, duosexagintillion, tresexagintillion, quattuorsexagintillion, quinsexagintillion, sexsexagintillion, septensexagintillion, octosexagintillion, novemsexagintillion, septuagintillion, unseptuagintillion, duoseptuagintillion, treseptuagintillion, quattuorseptuagintillion, quinseptuagintillion, sexseptuagintillion, septenseptuagintillion, octoseptuagintillion, novemseptuagintillion, octogintillion, unoctogintillion, duooctogintillion, treoctogintillion, quattuoroctogintillion, quinoctogintillion, sexoctogintillion, septenoctogintillion, octooctogintillion, novemoctogintillion, nonagintillion, unnonagintillion, duononagintillion, trenonagintillion, quattuornonagintillion, quinnonagintillion, sexnonagintillion, septennonagintillion, octononagintillion, novemnonagintillion.

How cookies track you around the web and how to stop them

If you use a web browser like Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Edge, or Safari, then youve probably picked up a few cookies along the way. Cookies are used to remember things about websites: your login information, what you have in your shopping cart, what language you prefer. They are created by websites and sit in your browser until they expire.

Some cookies are harmless, but others remain active even on websites that they didnt originate from,gathering information about your behaviorand what you click on. These are calledthird-party persistent cookiesor, more colloquially,tracking cookies.

Tracking cookies can be so invasive that many antivirus programs classify them as spyware. Despite their bad reputation, they have become so ubiquitous that its nearly impossible to avoid them. In this article, well go into detail and explain how tracking cookies record your web activity, why theyre so popular, and how to stop them.

First, lets briefly cover the main types of cookies: session cookies and persistent cookies. Whenever you go into your browser settings and clear your cookies, youre deleting the persistent cookies.

The most basic type of cookie is asession cookie. Session cookies only exist in temporary memory and are deleted when you close the browser. Any cookie created without an expiration date is automatically a session cookie. A common uses for session cookies include remembering whats in your shopping cart on an ecommerce site (although most modern ecommerce sites now store this info in a database on their servers).

Persistent cookiesare written onto your devices memory and come with an expiration date. They are only used by the website that created them, and canlast however long the website dictates. They remain on your device even after you close your web browser. Your web browser uses first-party persistent cookies for many quality-of-life enhancements, like remembering that youre signed in so you dont need to log in every time you visit the same site.

Third-party persistent cookies, also known as tracking cookies, are the main focus of this article. Like their first-party brethren, these cookies are stored in your devices memory and have a set expiration date. Unlike the first-party variety, however, third-party persistent cookies are accessed on websites that didnt create them. This allows the cookies creator to collect and receive data any time the user visits a page with a resource belonging to them.

Websites today are rarely made up solely of code and content created by the website owner or administrator. Instead, they use resources from other sites to build and add functionality to their web pages. These resources are often useful and even essential for a website to compete. Unfortunately, those same resources are often the biggest perpetrators of online tracking. Some of the most common resources that use tracking cookies include:

You dont even need to click on an ad or social media sharing button for a tracking cookies information about you to be transmitted back to a server owned by the person or company who created it. As soon as you load the page, the cookie is sent to the server where it originated. If no cookie exists yet, the resource can create one.

Lets say I write a blog post an include an image thats hosted on another website. The other website can create a cookie or send and existing one to its server, even though Im not actually on that website; Im just loading a resource from it. Similarly, most ads and widgets arent hosted by the websites they reside on. They are just resources pulled from third-parties, and they all use cookies.

According toThe Guardian, some of the biggest companies using tracking cookies include:

Tracking cookies are usually used for advertising purposes,retargetingin particular. Retargeting is a tactic that often relies on tracking cookies to show ads to people who have previously visited a specific site or shown interest in a particular product. If youve ever bought or even looked at a product on Amazon and then started seeing ads for similar products on other websites, youve been retargeted.

Heres a simplified step-by-step explanation of how retargeting works:

You pick up a tracking cookie on your favorite blog or shopping site. That cookie contains a unique ID that doesnt identify you personally, but does identify your web browser.

The owner of the shopping site signs up and pays for an advertising platform like Google.

Googles ads arent static; when you visit other websites that use Google ads to make money, the website sees the cookie and sends it to Google through the ad. Google sees the unique ID stored in the cookie and recognizes that it came from your favorite shopping site.

Google then shows an ad for the shopping site accordingly.

Likewise, other advertisers on Googles ad network can use that cookie, too, if your advertising profile meets their criteria of the target audience. It doesnt only benefit the site where you picked up the cookie.

This might seem harmless at first, but those tracking cookies can start racking up a lot of information about how you browse the web. Googles ads are everywhere, and while its the largest online advertising company in the world, there are many, many others. Because of this, advertising companies can cobble together a history of what websites you visit, in what sequence, and for how long. When cookies are sent back to their servers, they often include information about the previous site that a user visited, called areferrer URL.

Browsing history is just the start. Tracking cookies can record all kinds of information: search queries, purchases, device information, location, when and where you saw previous advertisements, how many times youve seen an ad, and what links you click on.

All of this and more is collected, often without your consent or knowledge. In the UK and EU, websites are required to notify users if they use tracking cookies. In the US and other countries, however, all of this data is hoarded in the background.

If you examine the actual contents of a cookie file, none of this is obvious. Cookies only consist of three components: name, value, and attributes. Using the Chrome extensionEditThisCookie, we can see what makes up a cookie:

Nameis used by websites and advertisers to identify cookies and what theyre used for.

Thevaluecomponent is where your unique advertising ID stored so that the trackers creator can identify you when you visit other websites. It usually appears as a seemingly random string of numbers and digits, but in some cases its not random and can contain coded information as laid out above.

Attributesinclude characteristics of the cookie like:

When the cookie expires. If no expiration date is set, the cookie ends when the browser is closed. Tracking cookies always have expiration dates.

If the cookie can be used by other domains.

Whether the cookie can be sent over an insecure connection or not. Essentially, it checks for HTTPS.

Whether the cookie can be accessed through JavaScript. Disabling this prevents cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks that can be used to steal login credentials and modify cookies for nefarious purposes.

The first step toward preventing tracking cookies from monitoring your behavior is to delete the ones you already have. You can clear you cookies in your browser settings. If youre not sure how, check out thisguide on clearing cookies for all the major browsersand operating systems.

Your browser doesnt distinguish between persistent cookies that perform useful tasks like keeping you logged into a website from those that invade your privacy and track you around the web. When you clear cookies in your browser, all of them are deleted.

Somewhere in your browser settings youll find an option to toggle onDo Not Track. Enabling this feature will send a request for the website youre currently on to disable its cross-site user tracking of individual users. This includes tracking cookies.

While some sites honor your choice to opt out with Do Not Track, many will not. Do Not Track does not add any technical limitations and theres no enforcement from any authority. That means theres no consequences for websites that ignore your opt-out request and use tracking cookies anyway.

You should definitely enable Do Not Track in your browser, but youll need to go a step further if you want to put a halt to tracking cookies.

Keeping track of where all the cookies in your browser come from and whether they track you would be a very tedious task. Instead, you can install an anti-tracking browser extension to stymie tracking cookies for you.

Privacy Badger and Disconnect are two good options. An ad blocker like Adblock Plus can help, too. All of these not only make the web more private, they also speed up page load times by blocking third-party elements.

Created, by the Electronic Frontier Foundation,Privacy Badgeris a plugin for Firefox and Chrome that automatically blocks advertisers that use tracking cookies from loading any more content in your browser. It does this by keeping track of third-party domains that embed images, scripts, and advertising into pages that you visit. The extension doesnt use a blacklist of known tracking sites. Instead, it observes the behavior of third-party domains on web pages and blocks them if they collect unique identifiers.

Privacy Badger also protects against canvas fingerprinting and super cookies, which well explain a bit later.

Disconnectautomatically detects when your browser connects to anything other than the site you are visiting. It then categorizes those requests and blocks them, save for requests that are necessary for the actual content of the site. The user can choose to allow through other categories like analytics, advertising, and social on an as-needed basis, or even allow trackers through individually.

Disconnect makes several useful tools for improving privacy and performance, but for the purposes of this article were mainly concerned with the free private browsing add-on.

Adblock Plus, not to be confused with AdBlock, is the most popular ad blocking browser extension on the web. Advertisements are the biggest perpetrators of online tracking, so this plugin can be very effective. Unlike Disconnect and Privacy Badger, Adblock Plus utilizes a blacklist of known domains that serve third-party ads and blocks them accordingly.

Ads are just one part of the equation, so I recommend pairing ABP with one of the other extensions. Alternatively, you can add additional blacklists created by the community to block other third-party website elements that use tracking cookies, such as social media widgets..

Tracking cookies are not a new technology. Theyve been in use for over a decade and little has changed as far as the way they work. Despite that, they provide a simple, accurate way to track and record user behavior across the web, and they arent going away anytime soon.

Thats not to say tracking cookies are theonlyway third parties monitor what you do online. Data mongers have several tools at their disposal to stay locked onto you.

Even before there were cookies, there were IP addresses. Every device connected to the internet is assigned a unique IP address that allows your device to communicate with other devices. IP addresses are a core component of how the internet works. But because they are unique, they can be used to track you.

Your public IP address is made up of a string of numbers and decimals. It changes periodically and is associated with your location. If you connect to a different wifi network, for example, you are assigned a new IP address and your old one is recycled and assigned to someone else. So its not the most enduring or accurate way to target someone, but its easy and it works.

To avoid being tracked by your IP address, I recommend using a VPN. AVPNencrypts all of the internet traffic on your device and routes it through an intermediary server in a location of your choosing. This masks your real IP address with that of the VPN server, and that IP address is usually shared with dozens, if not hundreds of other users, making it nearly impossible to trace activity back to one individual.

A referrer URL is the web address of the previous website where you clicked a link to get to the current website. For example, if you found through a Google search and clicked on a link to this article in the search results, the referrer URL for this page would belong to Google. Referrer URLs can be used for several reasons, and recording your browsing history is one of them.

When cookies are sent to the server that created them, they often contain referrer URLs. But referrer URLs dont require a cookie and the same information can be requested from a website via other means.

Web beacons, also calledpixel tags, are little segments of code on web pages that check whether you have accessed some content. Web beacon is actually an umbrella term for several similar techniques.

Web beacons can be hidden inside content elements of a web page, making them more difficult to prevent. They can be hidden inside images and other page elements to log user behavior and transmit that data back to the website owner.

Web beacons are commonly used to check whether someone who received an email actually read it. By embedding a pixel tag in an email, the email must load a resource from a third-party. When this happens, the resource can request the recipients IP address, timestamp, type of browser, and whether the resource owner already set a cookie in this browser. Like cookies, the server can store all of this information and associate it with the users unique tracking ID.

Browser fingerprinting is an emerging technique thats getting more and more accessible and is notoriously difficult to shake. A website can glean a lot of information about your web browser through server-side access logs and client-side Javascript and Adobe Flash. This information includes but is not limited to:

Even if you connect to a VPN to hide your IP address and block tracking cookies, all of the other information can form a combination so specific that the resulting profile can only plausibly belong to a single person or small group of people. Attempting to alter your browser settings and install more plugins only makes you stand out more.

You can disable Javascript using a plugin like NoScript or ScriptSafe to prevent the collection of most of this data, but many websites rely on Javascript to function, so chances are youll be forced to enable it at some point. The only other alternative is to use two browsers: one for private activities and one for day-to-day non-sensitive stuff.

Most tracking cookies can only be used by the domain that created them. Advertising companies are responsible for many domains that serve tracking cookies, each with its own database of user profiles and audience segments used to target you with ads.

Save for Google, most of these ad companies arent prolific enough to be everywhere on the web at once, which leads to gaps in their data. Entercookie syncing, the practice of combining advertising data sets to create more accurate and comprehensive tracking profiles.

Cookie syncing occurs when two advertising companies partner up or acquire one another. This consolidation helps them compete with Google, but also has an adverse effect on users privacy.

Most cookies are tied to specific domains, such as m. Supercookies are associated with top level domains like .com and . This allows them to affect requests for cookies from websites that use those top level domains. For example, a supercookie that uses the .net top-level domain could disrupt or impersonate requests from

Not only could supercookies be used to track you across the web, they can also be used for malicious purposes like changing user information or forging a login. For these reasons, mostmodern browsers block supercookies. Theyre worth mentioning but probably arent much of a threat to you.

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Where do tracking cookies come from?

What do tracking cookies know about me?

What Are Cookies?

Generate a free Privacy Policy for your website or mobile app.

Generate a free Cookies Policy for your website.

Generate a free Terms & Conditions agreement.

Generate a free End-User License Agreement (EULA).

Generate a free Return Policy or a free Refund Policy.

Generate a free Disclaimer or a free Disclosure.

Integrate a free Cookie Consent banner notice for ePrivacy Directive + GDPR.

If youve ever wondered how websites remember your login details, or how items in your online shopping cart stay there while you shop, its not magic. Its actually all down to tiny strands of data called cookies.

There are many types of cookies, including cookies that:

Save your password(s) so you dont need to remember them whenever you visit websites

Remember what sites youve visited in the past so you can view your browser history

Keep track of your shopping cart as you browse an online store

Show you targeted ads based on your browsing behavior

Well look at consent later, but for now, just bear in mind thatmost websites use cookiesand its important that they tell you so. They should alert you to cookie usage assoon as you land on the website, and it should be clear where you can find further information about their Cookie Policy.

How to Delete Cookies on Google Chrome for Windows

How to Delete Cookies in Firefox (Mozilla) for Windows

How to Delete Cookies on Opera for Windows

How to Delete Cookies on Edge Browser for Windows

Remember – you have theright to control what data you share with retailers, companies, and other third parties, andwhat cookies they installin your browser. Some pieces of legislation, like theEUs ePrivacy Directive, give you very specific rights over personal data sharing through cookies – more on all this below.

Select one of our generators to create the required legal agreements for your business:

OurPrivacy Policy Generatorcan help you generate a customized Privacy Policy in around three minutes, for free.

OurTerms & Conditions Generatorcan help you generate a customized Terms & Conditions agreement in around three minutes, for free.

OurEULA Generatorcan create a customized End-User License Agreement for your mobile or desktop app.

OurCookies Policy Generatorcan create a customized Cookies Policy to help your compliance with ePrivacy Directive and GDPR.

OurDisclaimer Generatorcan create a disclaimer or disclosure for your website.

OurReturn & Refund Policy Generatorcan help your ecommerce store by creating a returns or refunds policy.

Integrate a freeCookies Notice and Cookie Consent bannerto comply with the EU ePrivacy Directive and the new GDPR law regarding cookies.

For now, lets turn to something simple. Where did we get the idea for cookies from, and whats their main job? It actually hasnt changed much since they were invented back in 1994. The inventor,Lou Montulli, created cookies to solve two problems:

The idea of tracking is still central to why websites use cookies now, although there are now many types of cookies and a whole host of ways they can be used. Well go over these in more detail shortly, but for now here are two things to bear in mind.

Some cookies are absolutely necessary. For example, if youre shopping online, you couldnt purchase anything unless you could save items in your virtual cart. Youd lose the item as soon as you moved to the checkout page. So, in some cases, cookies areessential to a websites functionality.

If thewebsite wont work without certain cookies, the owner should make this clear. Sports apparel retailer,Gymshark, explains that the shopping cart wont work unless you accept certain cookies:

Secondly,cookies, for the most part, cant and dont transfer malware or other malicious programs onto your device. Its typically safe to accept cookies, but there are times when you might want to reject them – well look at this later.

With all that in mind, what arethe advantages and disadvantages of using cookies, and why should you care about them? Lets briefly take a look.

There are a number of advantages to using cookies, but here are a few that stand out:

, so youll only typically see ads that are relevant to you

so theres no need for you to remember these details when you log onto different websites

Once you know where to find them, theyre

, so youll often see search results that are most relevant to you when youre using Google or other search engines.

What, though, are the disadvantages?

Just like there are advantages to accepting cookies, there are also a few drawbacks. The main ones you should be aware of are:

to access information stored by cookies, which raises obvious privacy concerns

as youre browsing the internet, which understandably makes some feel uncomfortable

If you dont know where to look, it can be difficult to find cookies and delete them

viruses may be disguised as cookies

, and in other cases, cookies recreate themselves after theyve been deleted – these are colloquially known as zombie cookies

Whats important is that you understand how cookies actually work andhow you can take control of your internet privacy. Without getting too technical, lets be clear on what cookies are, whattypes of cookiesare out there, and how each type of cookie gathers various bits of information about you, your computer, and your browsing history.

Lets get back to basics. Cookies, in their simplest form, arelittle clusters of data. A web server passes these data clusters through to your computer after youve landed on a website. Your computer thenstores the data as files inside your browser cache. Its less complicated than it sounds, so to illustrate, heres how it works:

The web server passes a short message along to your web browser

in a file titled something like cookie.txt

You click on another website page (for example, a shop category)

to the server that reveals a little more about what youre looking at

Lets look at an example. Say you visit the popular healthcare website,NetDoctor. Once you land on the homepage, abox pops upthat tells you about the websites Cookie Policy:

If you click off this box and browse the website, itllinstall cookies on your browser, and yourbrowser sends a message backabout what youre on looking at – for example, cold remedies.

If youre still a little confused, think of this whole process like a text message exchange between two parties – the server, and your browser.

Now were clear on how cookies end up in your device, lets talk about whattypes of cookiesyoull encounter andwhat theyre used for.

Broadly, there are six major types of internet cookies out there:

Lets look at each type of cookie in turn and see what theyre used for.

Session cookies aretemporary. They literally only last for a session. Once you close the browser window, or leave the website, thecookie disappears. Unlike other cookies, session cookies arenever storedon your computer. Session cookies allow you to:

Heres how UK car dealership,Arnold Clark, describes session cookies in its Privacy Policy:

Persistent cookies are a little different. These cookiesdostay on your computer once youve closed the browser. Theyre designed to remember your preferences for aspecific periodof time, whether its your login details, your shopping wishlist, or your recently viewed items.

Gymshark describes persistent cookies as temporary butbeneficialbecause they help make the shopping experience easier:

These cookies are slowly going out of fashion, but you should still know about them. They allow third parties tocheck how well their ads are performing on other websites. Basically, if you click on an ad for a product from Company A while youre browsing Company Bs website, youll get a cookie on your computer from Company A.

Since these cookiesraise potential privacy concerns, theyre far less popular than before, and platforms like Google arecracking down on them.

First-party cookies shouldnt be confused with third-party cookies. These cookies improve theoverall functionalityof a website and theyre set by the website owner. Unlike session cookies which disappear right after your session, these cookies stay on your device so its easier for you to use the website the next time around.

Heres how a fitness retailer,Fitness Superstore, describes these functionality cookies. Youll note that these cookies are strictly confined to the one website i.e.they cant track your browser behavior or which other websites you visit:

Marketing cookies are similar to third-party cookies, but theyre less invasive. Theyre primarily used to show youads that are relevant to youwhichimproves your experiencewhile youre browsing the internet.

Thats exactly how Gymshark describes marketing cookies in its Cookie Policy:

These cookies help a company assess their websites overall performance and usability. In other words, they can track:

Arnold Clarksums this up nicely. As the company notes, these cookies are all about improving how the website actually works so itseasierfor future customers to navigate:

So, now were clear on what cookies do, you probably have another question:Do you have to accept all these cookies, even if you dont want to?The answer isno. Heres why.

The principles here are, thankfully, quite straightforward. Thanks to international privacy laws including the EUsGeneral Data Protection Regulations (GDPR)and theePrivacy Directive, websites must do two things before they can install cookies in your browser or device:

Why do they need to get your consent? It comes down to the type of information that cookies can gather. Cookies can collect whats known as personal data or personal information.Personal data is, broadly speaking, any information that can be used to identify you or your household. Examples include:

Global privacy laws allow consumers to:

who has access to personal information

consent to a company holding your personal data at any time

to accept marketing and other unnecessary cookies that collect personally identifiable information

Most importantly, if a company wants to use cookies, consumers have the right to know:

Companies should set out these rights in whats called aCookie Policy. Youll either find this inside the Privacy Policy, or itll be a separately- linked document.

Commonly, youll find the Policy linked at the bottom of the website in the footer. Heres an example from Gymshark showing separate Privacy Notice and Cookie Policy links:

When you access the Cookie Policy, you can see how the company uses cookies and why, along with other relevant information:

The only exception to the rule of consent is if the cookie is strictly necessary for the websites functionality – for example, session cookies.If you dont want to accept strictly necessary cookies, thats fine, of course, but you wont be able to use that website.

So, if websites need your consent to using cookies, how do they get it? Most often they useCookie Notices, or popups.

The notice will tell you that the website uses cookies, andit should give you the option to view the different cookies before you proceed. Heres an example from theBBC:

If you click no youll go straight to the Cookie Policy where you can set your specific preferences. Youll note that strictly necessary cookies are turned on bydefault:

If you decide to delete cookies stored on your device or browser, heres what to do.

Well show you step by step how to delete cookies from some of the most popular, commonly-used browsers.

For further assistance, visit the Mozilla help pagehere.

For further assistance, visit the Opera security and privacy pagehere.

For websites to work properly, they rely on cookies. Cookies are small files containing computer code that can sometimes identify you, your preferences, and your browsing behavior.

There aremany types of cookies, and they collect different types of data. However, because cookies can collect information that is used topersonally identify you, websites need your permission before they install them on your device or browser.

The only exception is when a cookie is strictly necessary i.e. if its the only way to keep products in your shopping cart.This type of information isnt strictly personal because it cant technically identify you.

You candelete cookies at any timeby clicking through themenu options in your browser, and you can alwayscontact retailers or websites individuallyto ask them to delete your personal information.

Put simply,youre always in control of what happens to your personal dataand who has access to it. Only consent to marketing and analytics cookies if youre comfortable sharing this type of information, and remember, youre free to change your mind at any time.

Legal information, legal templates and legal policies are not legal advice.Please read the disclaimer.

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Legal information, legal templates and legal policies are not legal advice.Please read the disclaimer.

Cookies What Do They Do?

Its almost impossible to use the internet for long without coming across a website asking if you accept cookies. Thats because of a range of laws designed to protect your data privacy.

In this guide well explain what cookies are, how they work, and how you can make informed decisions about them.

Why Do Websites Warn About Cookies?

The European Union ePrivacy Directive

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Childrens Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)

California Online Privacy Protection Act (CalOPPA)

Deleting Cookies from Google Chrome for Windows

Deleting Cookies from Edge Browser for Windows

Deleting Cookies from Firefox for Windows

Deleting Cookies from Opera for Windows

Use to generate the necessary legal agreements for your website/app:

And check ourFree Cookie Consentand make your business legally compliant with the Cookies Directive in the EU.

A cookie is a small text file that is created by a website andstored on your computerthrough your browser. The idea is that the website can access the cookie at a later time and retrieve information about you. The website then customizes pages based on this information.

Many uses of cookies areuncontroversialand help the users. Examples include:

Storing your username (but not your password) to save you having to remember it or type it in when you return to a site

Keeping items in a virtual shopping basket for an online retailer website

A site such as a weather forecast service or movie theater listings remembering your location and automatically displaying relevant details when you next visit

Some uses of cookies, such as tracking your online activity to deliver targeted advertising, can be morecontroversial.

Cookies fall into two main categories:session cookiesonly last until you leave the website in question, whilepersistent cookieswill last until a set expiration date.

This is an example of the information covered by one cookie placed by the CNN website. It identifies the users location, which could affect the order in which news stories appear on the page:

This cookie is set to work on all pages on the CNN site, but will be deleted at the end of the browsing session (that is, when the user closes the browser):

There are a number of different types of cookies, and they each can serve a different purpose. Some stick around for a long time (years) while others, as seen above, are only there when youre on the related website.

Athird-party cookieis one that is placed on a browser by somebody other than the operator of the site you are visiting. Specifically it is placed by a different domain (website). Thatsin contrast toafirst-party cookie, which is created and placed by the domain you are visiting.

The main technical difference is that a first-party cookie is only accessible to the domain that issued it. A third-party cookie can be accessible on multiple sites that include code from the third party.

A common example of a third-party cookie would be where a website hosts advertising provided through an advertising network. Once the third-party cookie is on your browser, it could be accessed whenever you visitany websitethat shows ads from the advertising network.

This could help the network tell advertisers how many times an average user has seen the same ad. Alternatively, the cookie could be used to make sure you dont see the same ad repeatedly, or to make sure you see a series of ads from the same campaign in a particular order.

Some uses of third-party cookies are more controversial, particularly ones known astracking cookies. For example, a cookie might be used to keep a record of the type of websites you visit and then deliver more targeted advertising.

Sometimes this can be very noticeable, for example if you visit a page about a product on a retailers website and then start seeing ads for that product on other websites you visit.

By 2022, most major browsers willblock third party cookies by default. Depending on the browser, users may be able to change browser settings to accept them by default or deal with each third-party cookie individually.

Several national and international data laws and regulations govern the way sites can use cookies. A common theme is that cookies are acceptable but only if users can make an informed decision about whether to allow them.

This is also known informally (if inaccurately) as theEU cookie law. Its a European Uniondirective, which means a set of principles that individual countries build into their own domestic law.

The key principle is that a website in an EU country cant put a cookie on your device without getting prior consent. The only exception is for a cookie thats needed for the websites basic functionality.

You will often see the ePrivacy Directive in action when a website displays a message on the page or in a pop-up window telling you that it uses cookies. It may contain links to details of how to block cookies or warn that if you dont consent to cookies you should stop using the site.

At some point this directive is likely to be replaced by a specific European Union regulation that updates the rules to take account of technological changes, but this hasnt happened yet.

TheGDPRcovers a wide range of data protection issues. Its scope covers cookies whenever they contain information about an identifiable individual. Unlike the ePrivacy Directive, the GDPR is an EUregulation, meaning it has direct legal effect in all member states.

The GDPR applies if either the website visitor, the website or the processing of personal data is in a European Union country.

Compared with the ePrivacy Directive, the GDPRrequires explicit consentto collect personal data, including through cookies. While some sites have been slow to do this, legally they must be designed so that the user mustactively consent, for example by clicking a button or closing a pop-up message.

The website forGordonsconfirms consent through the same process as getting an age declaration from the user. Although its wording says by continuing to browse, you consent to such use, the user must click the Enter button to proceed, thus actively confirming consent:

A court ruling in Germany set a precedent to strengthen this principle. Websites areno longer allowed to use pre-ticked checkboxesor toggles set to on by default when getting consent. Thats because the responsibility is on the site to beabsolutely clearusers have intentionally given consent.

B&Qdemonstrates this on its Cookie Preferences page with individual toggles for different types of cookies, both set to disabled by default:

Although the United Kingdom is no longer a member of the European Union, the measures set out in both the ePrivacy Directive and the GDPR will remain in force in the UK until at least theend of 2020. After that the measures will remain in force through domestic law unless and until the law is changed.

COPPAis a U.S. federal law governing websites that either areaimedat users under 13, or where the operatorsknowfor certain that people under 13 are using the site.

COPPA says that such websites cannot use persistent identifiers (such as persistent cookies) for users under 13 without getting and verifying the consent of a parent or guardian.

CalOPPAis a state law that applies toany business(regardless of location) with a website serving Californian residents. CalOPPA doesnt actually force sites to get consent to issue cookies. Instead the law requires sites todisplay a clear Privacy Policydetailing how it collects and uses personal data. This includes the use of cookies.

Two laws in Canada cover cookies among other personal data: Canadas Anti-Spam Legislation and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).

In both cases cookies are something of a gray area. As a very simplified principle, sites can usuallyinferthat a visitor consents to cookies unless theyveactively signifiedotherwise. This could be by clicking an opt-out button (where available) or blocking cookies on their computer.

By most definitions, a cookie isnt personal data in itself. However, it can be classed as personal data depending on the specific law or regulation in question.

One way a cookie can be personal data is if it literallycontains personal information. For example, a cookie created by a greeting card website might include a users date of birth and name.

Another scenario is that a cookie canbecome part of personal data. That might happen if a website operator combines a cookie with other sources of personal information about an identifiable individual.

Agreeing to cookies isnt really a matter ofsafety. The cookie itselfcant do anything to your computer, access any files, or intercept any data you send to or receive from a website.

Its more an issue ofprivacy. You may be put off by the idea of people tracking your activity or delivering very targeted advertising. (On the other hand, you may prefer to see ads that are relevant to your interests.)

Remember that normally a cookie shouldntidentify you as an individual. A tracking cookie can help build up a picture of the activity from your browser and affect the ads you see. However, it shouldnt allow anyone to know that John Doe of 123 Main Street, Anytown likes looking at videos of goats playing hockey.

Depending on what laws cover a website, you will often be given a choice toopt-out of cookies. In some cases this could simply be a take it or leave it option where you are told not to use a site if you dont agree to cookies. In other cases, youll get a choice of categories of cookies.

The most basic category is the functionallynecessarycookies such as the shopping basket of an online store. Most data processing laws that address cookies say websites can insist on you accepting these, simply because the site wont work otherwise.

Other cookies may simply be lumped into one category ofoptionalcookies, or perhaps into further categories such as session cookies and persistent cookies, analytics cookies, marketing cookies or tracking cookies.

Again, your choices will depend on the prevailing legislation. For example, under the GDPR a website owner cant make accepting cookies (other than functionally necessary ones) a condition of accessing the site.

This example from theInformation Commissioners Officelets users decide whether or not to use analytics cookies, while explaining that necessary cookies are placed by default:

One simple way to avoid cookies on a website is to use your browsersprivate browsing mode. These havedifferent names in different browsers, including:

When you use this mode, your browser wont accept any cookies (or will delete them as soon as you close the window). It also wont save any other website data to your browser or add to your locally stored browsing history. (Your internet provider will still have a record of the sites you visited.)

The problem is that blocking cookies in this way cansignificantly reducethe functionality and convenience of many websites.

Well show you how to delete cookies off of four of the most popular browsers: Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox and Opera.

Open the main menu and selectSettings:

Click onPrivacy and securityin the left sidebar menu:

Click to open theClear browsing datamenu:

Choose to do a Basic or Advanced data removal. Make sure the Cookies box is checked, then clickClear data:

From the main menu, select theSettingsoption:

From theSettingsmenu, select thePrivacy and servicesoption:

Click theChoose what to clearbutton:

Check the box next toCookiesand the other data that you want to clear. ClickClear now:

Open the main browser menu and clickOptions:

Go to the left sidebar menu and selectPrivacy & Security:

In theCookies and Site Datasection, click theClear Databutton:

Under theOpera Toolsmenu, click onSettings:

From theSettingsmenu, click onAdvancedto open the sub-menu:

In theAdvancedsub-menu, clickPrivacy & security:

From thePrivacy and securitymenu, click the arrow next toClear browsing data:

Check the boxnext to Cookies and any other data you wish to browse, then clickClear data:

Lets recap what you need to know about cookies:

A cookie is a small text file created by a website and stored on your computer.

Cookies let websites remember details about you that help customize your experience on the site. Many uses of cookies are helpful for web users but some are more controversial.

First party cookies only work with the site that issues them. Third party cookies are put there by somebody other than the site you visit and can be used to track your web activity, often to target advertising.

Several national and international regulations require websites to tell you when they use cookies and usually to get some form of consent.

Cookies arent necessarily personal data in themselves, but can be used as part of a wider profile of you.

Accepting cookies shouldnt normally pose any security risk. Its more of a privacy issue.

Private browsing/InPrivate/Incognito modes will block or delete cookies. This can limit a sites functionality.

Browsers let you delete existing cookies from your computer. Usually you can delete individual cookies, clear everything from a set time period, or delete all cookies.

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