What is a cookie?

The term «cookie» refers to a small data file consisting solely of a set of text information that the site transmits to the web browser on your computer’s hard disk, either temporarily throughout your visit , or sometimes for longer periods, depending on the type of cookie. Cookies perform different operations (for example, you are distinguished from other site’s visitors or remember certain info for you like your preferences) and are used by most websites to improve your user experience.

Each cookie is unique to your browser and contains some anonymous information. A cookie typically contains the name of the cookie field, the cookie’s lifetime, and a value (usually in the form of a randomly generated unique number).

Types of cookies

The basic types of cookies are described below

  • Session cookies

    These are temporary cookies that remain in the cookie file of your device’s browser only during your visit and are deleted when you close the browser.

  • Persistent cookies

    These remain in the cookie file of your device’s browser even after the browser closes, sometimes for one year or more (the exact length of stay depends on the lifetime of each cookie). Permanent cookies are used when the site administrator may need to know who you are for more than one visit (e.g., to remember your username or your site configuration preferences).

  • First-party cookies

    These are cookies installed on your browser and/or hard drive of your device from the site you are visiting. This includes assigning a unique ID to you, in order to monitor your site navigation. Site creators often use first-party cookies to handle visits and for identification purposes.

  • Third-party cookies

    These are cookies used by third parties, such as social networks to track your visits to the various sites they advertise. The site administrator has no control over these third-party cookies.