What are cookies?
A cookie is a data element that a website can send to your browser, which may then be stored on your computer's operating system.
Types of Cookies
Cookies can be in the form of session cookies or persistent cookies. Session cookies are deleted from your computer or device when you close your web-browser. Persistent cookies will remain stored on your computer or device until deleted or until they reach their expiration date. In addition to "classical" cookies as described above, some websites also use local and/or session storage and interaction requests, which store certain data on your computer with no expiration date. Despite the fact that these requests don't set any cookies, they can still transfer privacy information to first or third parties (see explanation below).
Categories of Cookies
On websites, cookies are typically used for different purposes, for example:
- Performance – Performance cookies allow webmasters to count visits and web traffic sources to measure and improve the performance of their sites. They help webmasters to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous.
- Essential/Strictly Necessary – These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off. They are usually only set in response to actions made by individual site visitors which amount to a request for services, such as setting their privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms.
- Advertising/Targeting – These cookies are typically set by the webmaster's advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of a site visitor's interests and show them relevant advertisements on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying their browsers and internet devices. If you as a website visitor do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.
- Functional – Functional cookies enable the website to provide enhanced functionality and personalization. They may be set by the owner of the website or by third-party providers whose services the website owner has added to its pages. If a site visitor does not allow these cookies, then some or all of these services may not function properly.
- Customization – These cookies collect information that is used either in aggregate form to help webmasters understand how their websites are being used or how effective their marketing campaigns are, or to help them customize their websites and applications for site visitors in order to enhance their experience.
Source of Cookies
- First Parties – First party cookies are set by the site itself and can only be read by a particular local site. They are commonly used for the functionality of a site (e.g., an e-commerce shopping cart).
- Customization – Cookies set by third parties can be tracking or marketing companies (e.g. advertising networks). These cookies get re-read during visits to other sites if the visited sites do business with these tracking/marketing companies.
- Performance cookies: We use several types of third-party cookies to improve the performance of the Site and hence the user experience when you are visiting our Site and/or applications. We use these cookies, for example, to count visits and traffic sources on the Site or to understand the site visitor's interaction with the Site.
- Essential and functional cookies: We use several types of first- and third-party cookies to provide essential features as well as functional enhancements on our Site and/or applications, for instance to facilitate contact form processing or the log-in to your account.
- Targeting cookies: We use several types of third-party cookies to provide relevant and personalized marketing information about our products, and to determine whether certain product updates or upgrade offers are warranted.
All browser cookies we use are encrypted.
How to control cookies?
You can control and/or delete several types of cookies as you wish – for details, please see www.aboutcookies.org.
For example, you can set your browser to notify you when you receive a cookie, giving you the chance to decide whether to accept it. You can further delete all cookies that are already on your computer and you can set most browsers to prevent them from being placed.
If you do this, however, you may have to manually adjust some preferences every time you visit a site and some services and functionalities may not work.
For further information on third-party cookies placed by Google services, please review our Privacy Statement.