WHAT ARE COOKIES?
A cookie is a small file of letters and numbers that is downloaded on to your computer when you visit a website. Cookies are used by many websites and can do a number of things eg remembering your preferences, recording what you have put in your shopping basket, and counting the number of people looking at a website.
The rules on cookies are covered by the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations. The Regulations also cover similar technologies for storing information, eg Flash cookies. The Regulations were revised in 2011, and the ICO is responsible for enforcing these new rules.
WHAT DO THE NEW RULES MEAN?
You can use your web browser (eg Internet Explorer) to:
delete all cookies
block all cookies
allow all cookies
block third-party cookies
clear all cookies when you close the browser
open a ‘private browsing’ session
install add-ons and plug-ins to extend broswer functionality
Where to find information about controlling cookies
Click on the links below to find out about each specific browser and it’s information on cookies.
A number of websites provide detailed information on cookies, including AllAboutCookies.org and AllAboutCookies.org.uk.
The Internet Advertising Bureau website Your Online Choices allows you to install opt-out cookies across different advertising networks.
Google has developed a browser add-on to allow users to opt-out of Google Analytics across all websites which use this popular analytics product.
New technologies such as Mozilla’s Do Not Track allow you to tell websites not to track you.
Internet Explorer has a feature called Tracking Protection Lists which allows you to import a list of websites you want to block.