A cookie is a small piece of data that your browser retrieves from a website that you are visiting and stores it locally on your computer. Websites use it to identify its users.
There are three different types of cookies:
- Session cookies: these cookies are only used during your visit (during a session) and automatically removed when you close your browser.
Example: a shopping cart from an online shop that keeps track of all the items that you add to your shopping basket
- Permanent cookies: these cookies are used for future visits and will be stored on your computer even after closing your browser.
Example: cookies that contain a token that represents your login details and password so you don't have to enter it every time you visit the site
- Third-party cookies: these cookies are installed by third parties and used for collecting information about the visitors.
Cookies and GDPR
The GDPR distinguishes three types of cookies:
- Functional cookies: these cookies are needed for a properly functioning website.
Example: for a shopping cart or to remember login credentials
- Analytical cookies: these cookies are used to generate statistics about visitors
Example: Google Analytics cookies
- Tracking cookies: these cookies are used to track visitors over various websites and mailing used for marketing purposes
To see all the cookies that you get from a website, you can use a browser like Google Chrome:
- Right Click on a web page
- Choose "Inspect"
- Click on [Application] tab
- under "Cookies" you should see the site that you are visiting
- Right click on that and choose "clear" to remove all cookies
- If you refresh your browser then you should see what cookies are created.
You could also use some online tools to check the cookies that are set,
for example: http://www.cookie-checker.com/