Cookies are small text files sent by a website to a user’s web browser that enhance their browsing experience by remembering site preferences and activities. These activities can include login details, shopping cart items, and previous interactions with site features. Cookies facilitate a personalized and efficient web experience, providing continuity and consistency across multiple browsing sessions.
Different types of internet cookies serve different purposes. Here’s a basic breakdown:
- Session cookies — track your activity within a site, such as the items you add to your shopping cart. These cookies disappear when you close the browser
- Persistent cookies — remember login information, track browsing habits across different sites, and remain on the computer after you close the browser
- Authentication cookies — keep users logged in between visits
- Tracking cookies — collect data on users’ browsing behavior for analytics or advertising purposes
Before adding cookies to your website, familiarize yourself with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which regulates how companies collect, use, and disclose personal information from EU residents — even if you’re not based in the EU.