There's a lot of talk about cookies these days, and some
complicated and conflicting advice. Here's the plain-talking
Peach guide to cookies,
and whether you should consent to access.
So, what is a cookie?
A cookie is a small text file that your browser picks up from
sites you visit, processes and places on your computer. This file
helps the site recognise your computer, and allows you to navigate
the site and access all its functions. It doesn't contain
information, but when read by a browser it recognises you when you
return to a page.
Why would I want any kind of cookie that isn't
That is a fantastic question! Food jokes aside, the internet is
free largely thanks to
The vast majority of sites you browse online are free. Many site
owners are able to monetise the content they put on websites by
allowing advertising on websites. They get information about how
their site is performing, and what their site visitors like, from
cookies. They can use this information to make their site an
attractive to advertisers.
This is similar to television; you don't pay for most channels,
but they are free for you to watch thanks to advertising.
What about sites without ads?
preferences, or allow you to use other functions, like sharing
content on social
So what "flavour" do these cookies come
There are two main "flavours" of cookie:
- Session cookies - These are temporary cookies which are deleted
when you close your browser. They allow you to move easily through
a site without having to login each time you visit a new page, or
save items in a "shopping cart" on ecommerce sites. Without a
session cookie, the site has no memory of what you've already done
on your visit.
- Persistent cookies - These are stored in your hard drive until
they expire or are deleted. They are often used for user
preferences and customisation. For example, where a site is
available in many different languages, you can select your chosen
language and the persistent cookie will remember this when you
Should I be scared of cookies?
Unless you have a baked-treat phobia there's really not much to fear. Cookies are plain
text files with encrypted strings of letters and numbers. They're
not programmes or executable files. They can only be understood by
your browser, and they can't read or access anything on your hard
drive or your personal information. All they really do is sit there
and wait to be read by your browser.
So why all the fuss?
Because your browser can read your cookies, it knows what sites
you have visited can guess some of the things you like or, for
example, what age group you are in based on this information.
Advertisers can "target" information to only be given to people
with some preferences or characteristics.
For example, let's say you browse a lot of websites about cars. An
advertiser would only like their ads to be shown to users who are
interested in cars. The browser will then only show those ads to
people like you, who browse a lot of car websites. The advertiser
never sees who you are or any personal information about you. You
are seeing the ad because the browser can read your cookies.
There are many people who don't want their browsing history used
in this way, so sites have to now ask for consent, or
let users opt out of using cookies.
I came here looking for edible cookies! I've been
We're very sorry. Here is an excellent recipe for delicious
peach cookies. Enjoy!
Half a cup of butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 cups plain flour
half a teaspoon baking soda
Seasoning (a pinch each of nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger)
Three peaches (peled and diced)
half a cup of raisins.
Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl,then add an egg and beat
until nice and fluffy. Carefully stir your flour into the mix, then
add your baking soda, seasonings, peaches and raisins. Drop small
lumps of your cookie mix onto a greased baking tray, and bake for
about 20 minutes at 190C. Then eat the cookies (but not too quickly
or you'll burn your tongue, we speak from experience here...)
Recipe from food.com
Image courtesy of Surian Soosay on Flickr