However, cookies have shed their bad rep through the years and have proved to be one of the most useful tools to improve user experience and navigation online.
Cookies are pieces of information that are stored in your computer as text files. They are sent from the host website to the web browser while you browse through the internet.
Cookies are designed in order to help websites remember essential information and record certain browsing activity to make browsing faster and easier.
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Cookie policies exist so that people are more aware of what type of information is going in and out of their machines. Since the information detailed in cookies may be sensitive, it is important that it is handled with the utmost care and protection.
Here are some of the key details one should know about cookie policies and privacy policies:
You won’t notice the operation of web cookies
Privacy policies are in your face and direct, while cookie policies often operate out of sight. If you don’t explicitly look for the cookies that might be storing your information, it can definitely be hard to track them.
Cookies on a website are often operated by third parties
As such, it is necessary that web owners know how to control these third parties and make sure that they follow the guidelines related to safe and secured cookie administration.
Website owners need to know the challenge and the importance of using cookies, especially since they sometimes cannot control what information is stored in cookies when its set by third parties.
The laws governing cookie policies may vary from country to country. This means that webmasters really need to be looped in the latest laws to ensure compliance.
It informs your site and mobile visitors of the information that they may leave behind.
Your site visitors need to know exactly which traces they may leave behind when they go to a website. That way, they will be more conscious of their behavior online, and they’ll be able to select which information gets left behind in a text string or not.
It harnesses a relationship of trust between a site visitor and a webmaster.
People will keep on coming back to your website once they know that their information is not being exploited and used for malicious means.
It allows web visitors to be selective about the virtual footprints they leave behind.
Apart from this being an informative policy, it also allows web visitors to select which type of information gets left behind every session and which can stay for good. That way, they can have more control over their virtual footprints.
It details how third-party operators should behave.
Many of the cookies are operated by third parties, and some websites do not know all the nitty-gritty details regarding the use of the cookies collected per operator.
Cookies and the law
While cookies won’t cause viruses or malfunctions on your units, they are still vulnerable when it comes to information exploitation and privacy concerns.
People with malicious intent can hijack your cookies. They could use those not just for selective ad targeting, but also for credit card theft, unauthorized access to private accounts, and more.
Here are some of the most notable laws surrounding cookies that you should know:
In the U.S., the Behavioral Advertising Principles require webmasters and operators to disclose the fact that they are using cookies to consumers before they collect sensitive information. They should request the consent of the consumers before they start to collect private information.
Web visitors should have the choice to opt-in or out of the cookie data collection practice, and such an opt-out policy should be clear, concise, and easy to follow.
The EU has established a cookie law spanning all countries included in the EU. Just like the US law, the EU’s cookie law requires webmasters to ask for permission from visitors and consumers first before using cookies.
This is a detailed law, as it also requires operators to disclose all types of information, like where information is going to be stored, what this information will be used for, and more. Failure to comply with the cookie law will lead to penalization.
These are just some of the existing laws governing the field of cookie collection online. The common denominator on all these laws is consent; that is, users should know how their data is stored and what these are going to be used for.
This is to ensure that no privacy laws are encroached upon, and no one’s data will be used for malicious gains.
- State that you are actively using cookies on your website.
- Briefly explain what cookies are and what they are for.
- Disclose the type of cookies you will use during the website visit.
- Allow your users to opt-out of using cookies.
What are cookies?
As mentioned, you should include a section that explains to your customers what cookies are.
How to disable cookies?
Cookie policies should not be hidden. They should be displayed in visible locations in order to make sure that people really see the clauses included in cookie policies.
- Link for more information regarding cookies.
What are cookies?
Cookies are simple text files that are stored on your computer or mobile device by a website’s server. Each cookie is unique to your web browser. It will contain some anonymous information such as a unique identifier, website’s domain name, and some digits and numbers.
What types of cookies do we use?
Necessary cookies allow us to offer you the best possible experience when accessing and navigating through our website and using its features. For example, these cookies let us recognize that you have created an account and have logged into that account to access the content.
Functionality cookies let us operate the site in accordance with the choices you make. For example, we will recognize your username and remember how you customized the site during future visits.
These cookies enable us and third-party services to collect aggregated data for statistical purposes on how our visitors use the website. These cookies do not contain personal information such as names and email addresses and are used to help us improve your user experience of the website.
How to delete cookies?
If you want to restrict or block the cookies that are set by our website, you can do so through your browser setting. Alternatively, you can visit www.internetcookies.org, which contains comprehensive information on how to do this on a wide variety of browsers and devices. You will find general information about cookies and details on how to delete cookies from your device.
Cookies are important, and they make the user experience online easier and more efficient. If you’re a webmaster or publisher, you should make sure that you’re complying with all laws governing cookies and cookie policies online.
There are a few important details that you should always include in cookie policies so don't take it lightly.
- Updated on February 10, 2020