Switch off my cookies! This was the gist of the tense, urgent message left for me by the IT manager of one of our large corporate clients.
By Howard Rybko, CEO of Syncrony Digital
What is a website cookie?
Cookies are tiny files that hold small amounts of data that are saved to your computer’s hard drive by websites, when you visit them.
A cookie, for example, will hold your login credentials for a specific website and will be used by that website to identify you when you visit it. This will make logging in quicker.
The actual data that is stored in a cookie is tagged to your machine and will only function of your computer.
The benefits of cookies
Cookies let websites recognise users and recall their individual login information and preferences, such as sports news versus politics. These cookies track whether a user is logged in and under what name. They also streamline login information, so users don’t have to remember site passwords.
Customised advertising is the main way cookies are used to personalise your sessions. You may view certain items or products on a site, and cookies use this data to help build targeted ads that you might enjoy.
Gradually, a profile is built based on a user’s browsing history on that site. It is this tracking process that annoys some users and keeps privacy legislators up at night.
But what if your website doesn’t have logins?
In fact, it will in effect break Analytics, resulting in every pageview being counted as a unique visitor, which will make your web traffic stats meaningless in certain instances.
So the bottom line is, keep your cookies.