1. What are cookies?
Cookies are small files that are stored on your computer when you visit web pages. They contain information linked to a web browser and the specific website. Cookies consist of two components: the name and the content. They are stored in a specific folder on your hard drive and provided with a unique ID and duration. If you return to a particular website, that page can recognize the visitor by means of the cookie and further build up the history. Some cookies are deleted from themselves when you leave the website; others remain on your computer as long as you do not delete them yourself. Cookies are not active, executing software and therefore not harmful to your computer. Nor are they always of a commercial nature. Cookies are used to increase visitor convenience: by identifying visitors with a cookie, they do not have to enter the same data every time, for example login data or screen settings. In addition, cookies are used to map the surfing behavior of visitors. Which and how many pages are visited, via which route and for how long does the visitor stay on the website? Based on these results, the website can be adapted and it can respond to the interests and needs of visitors to the site. This can be done, for example, by showing personalized information to visitors.
2. What types of cookies are there?
A distinction is often made between two large groups of cookies:
-First party cookies: these are direct cookies. They are created by a website to make the web page function better. They regulate the technical part of a site, such as language choice or remembering the products from the shopping cart in a webshop. The visited website creates and places first party cookies.
- Third party cookies: these indirect cookies are created and placed on your computer by a (third) party other than the visited website. They keep track of a surfer's behavior. Examples of this are social media such as Facebook or Twitter, but also Google Analytics. This is the most commonly used system to measure website visits. It is especially for these cookies that, since the amended legislation of 2012, website owners must explicitly request permission from surfers. The 2012 legislation does not distinguish between first party cookies and third party cookies. The criterion there is consent. Cookies that are necessary for the site to function properly do not require permission. This is the case for all other cookies.
3. How to manage cookies?
Below you will find an overview of the options that browsers offer to manage cookies.
- Google Chrome Open your browser. Click on the Chrome menu and then choose settings. Click Show advanced settings and then in the "Privacy" section, click the Content settings button. In the "Cookies" section you can adjust the cookie settings and delete cookies.
- Internet Explorer Open your browser. Click Tools and then Internet Options. Click on the "Privacy" section and select the desired level using the slider. You can also adjust this manually by clicking Advanced. A distinction is made between permanent direct cookies (first party cookies), permanent indirect cookies (third party cookies) and temporary cookies (session cookies). You can delete cookies via the main screen of internet options.
- Mozilla Firefox Open your browser. Select Privacy. Set Firefox to Use custom settings for history. To enable cookies, tick Accept cookies from websites. To disable cookies, uncheck this box. Firefox also offers you the option to disable third-party cookies. You can also set how long cookies may be stored. By clicking on Show cookies you can delete one or more cookies.
- Safari Open your browser. In Safari, cookie management is limited to a screen. In the Preferences tab, click on Privacy. You then have three options for accepting cookies. You can also delete cookies via Show Cookies.
- Opera Open your browser. Click the Tools menu and then Preferences. You can set the cookie settings via Advanced and Cookies. You also have the option to have new cookies automatically deleted when you close each internet session. In addition, you have the option to decide on each cookie that is sent to your computer. You do this by clicking Ask me to accept cookies. Whenever a site tries to store a cookie, a dialog box appears.