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Electronic computer cookies

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A short slideshow showing the different types of cookies and a brief explanation illustrating that cookies are not programs nor viruses.

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Electronic computer cookies

  1. 1. What is a cookie?DefinitionExplanation
  2. 2. Define: cookieA cookie is a text file (is comprised of text and numbers only)sent from a web server to an internet browserCookies can store information on a Hard Disk Drive (HDD) but cannot read a HDD,For this reason they are not:Programs,or, pieces of softwareCookies can identify a particular userCookies are popular with marketing companies – they can tailor advertsDepending upon the type of cookie, they can stay on your computer for some time
  3. 3. Types of cookiesSessionPersistentFirst PartyThird Party
  4. 4. Session CookieStays on your computer for the duration of your visitRemoved after you close the web browserPersistent cookieRepeat visits, it does not remove itself from your HDDCan remain on your computer for several yearsSome web servers will specify how long (30 days, one month, two years)
  5. 5. First party cookieCookie is sent from the site you are visiting – no one else is involvedi.e. the relationship with you (the user) and the site (the server)There is not a lot going on behind your back !Third party cookieSent from another websiteDon’t forget that HTML allows a user to link elements from external sourcesi.e. One webpage can be comprised of several websites !
  6. 6. How are cookies used?purposeICO
  7. 7. Purpose of cookiesCookies were initially used by web developers to make tasks online easiere.g. A user of an ecommerce website can have several items in their basket. With the useof a cookie, the user does not have to process each item individually.Cookies therefore improve the search experienceCookies can also remember who you are, this can be useful whenever you want a site toremember your credentials, like log-in details, for example.
  8. 8. Information Commissioner Office (ICO)ICO passed a law (in the UK) to force web developers to become more transparentThis meant that websites had to display cookie policiescookie policy,what are cookies?how are cookies used for X site?Transparency has not lead to only proper use -- cookies are still misusedTransparency has only lead to user awareness of how / why cookies are usedPeople are now aware that cookies are used for online advertisingwhat has a user clicked?what is a user interested in?if you search for cars, you could be targeted by car adverts -- quickly
  9. 9. Cookies and searchGray areaPolicy
  10. 10. Cookies are specific...Necessary cookies are used to identify you, and you onlye.g. “remember me” is necessary to keep your username / passwordNecessary cookies can also be used in relation to a session (identity session)If you watched X, you might like Y -- video providers use this!
  11. 11. Cookies are specific...Functionality cookies are important to bring specific requirements to a usere.g. accessibility options are stored (text size, text colour)Functionality cookies allow a user to become specifice.g. local weather / locationPerformance cookiesUsed to compile reports – Google Analytics etci.e. Monitoring of site traffic
  12. 12. Cookie awarenessWhat can I do?What should I do?Any advice?
  13. 13. Any advice? What should I do?What does the policy say?become aware of cookie policies
  14. 14. Cookies and search
  15. 15. What if...?...adverts can target specific adverts, can search target you with specific searches?...search experience is not improved, it is just repeated?...cookies restricted your search results?...cookies were the catalyst to personalised results?Is this a good thing? Is this a bad thing? Or, does it not matter?
  16. 16. Think about the relationshipcookies and search haveGood?Bad?Not sure?

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