Cookies are files placed on your computer that enables websites to remember details.

When you visit a website, it can place a file called a cookie on your computer. This enables the website to remember your details and track your visits. Cookies can be a threat to confidentiality, but not to your data.

Cookies were designed to be helpful. For example, if you submit your ID when you visit a website, a cookie can store this data so you don’t have to re-enter it the next time. Cookies also have benefits for webmasters, as they show which web-pages are well-used providing useful input when planning a redesign of the site.

Cookies are small text files and cannot harm your data. However, they can compromise your confidentiality. Cookies can be stored on your without your knowledge or consent, and they contain information about you in a form you can’t access easily. And when you revisit the same website, this data is passed back to the web server, again without your consent.

Websites gradually build up a profile of your browsing behaviour and interests. This information can be sold or shared with other sites, allowing advertisers to match ads to your interests, ensure that consecutive ads are displayed as you visit different sites, and track the number of times you have seen an ad.

If you prefer to remain anonymous, use the security settings on your internet browser to disable cookies.