What are cookies?
Cookies are text files containing small amounts of information which are downloaded to the internet browser on your computer or mobile device when you visit a website. Cookies do lots of different things on the internet, such as facilitating efficient navigation of a website, remembering user preferences, and generally improving the experience of a website. They also play a role in online shopping carts and stores and in internet advertising and marketing.
Some cookies contain personal information – for example, if you click to “remember me” when logging into a website, a cookie will store your username – but not all collect information that identifies you. Some collect general information such as how users arrive at and use a website, which a website owner can evaluate and find ways to improve site features and content.
Types of Cookies
There are mainly four kinds of cookies:
- Session cookies.These cookies last only for the session and are erased when the user closes the web browser.
- Persistent cookies. These cookies remain even after the internet browser session is closed. These cookies are stored on a user’s computer or mobile device until they expire or until the user deletes the cookie. Persistent cookies are used to collect identifying information about the user, such as web surfing behavior or user preferences for a specific website. They have expiration dates which may vary from cookie to cookie.
- First-party cookies.These cookies are placed by the website a user is visiting. For example, if you visit Amazon.com, then Amazon.com generates cookies for direct interaction with their website.
- Third-party cookies.These cookies are placed by a site other than the one a visitor is using. For example, these are most often related to online advertising and marketing, social media networks like Twitter and Facebook, and some embedded media services such as Vimeo, YouTube, and SoundCloud.
The majority of modern web browsers support cookies and most have settings that can be customized to decline some cookies and the ability for a user to delete the cookies at will.
For more information about cookies, see http://www.allaboutcookies.org
There are four main categories of cookies:
- Strictly Necessary Cookies
These cookies are essential to a user’s ability to navigate a website and use its features. Example: Without these cookies, a user would not be able to log into their account at the website or complete a purchase at an online store. Another “strictly necessary” example is a cookie that retains a user’s preference on whether or not to accept cookies from a website they visit.
- Performance Cookies
These cookies collect information about how a visitor uses a website. These cookies do not collect personally identifying information but allow website owners to evaluate the site’s performance in order to improve user experience and content. Example: Cookies related to Google Analytics.
These cookies remember user preferences in order to provide a more personalized experience of a website. They may store things such as your user name, language or the region preference, or even text size. These cookies may also be used to provide services a user has asked for, such as watching a video or commenting on a blog, or logging into a website. Example: When you visit a weather reporting website, you might enter your postal code so you see weather specific to your region.
- Targeting or Advertising
These cookies are used to deliver advertisements that are more relevant and suited to a user and their interests. They are also used to limit the number of times a user might see an advertisement, as well as help measure the effectiveness of an advertising campaign. They are usually placed by advertising networks with the website owner’s permission. They remember what websites a user has visited and the information is shared with other organizations such as advertisers. Sometimes these cookies are linked to site functionality.
The length of time a cookie will stay on your computer or mobile device depends on whether it is a “persistent” or “session” cookie. Session cookies will only stay on your device until you stop browsing. Persistent cookies stay on your computer or mobile device until they expire or are deleted.
First-Party Cookies (cookies on this website)
First-party cookies are cookies that relate to the functions and features of this website specifically, and are set by this website, not a third party.
- Google Analytics (anonymous)
This website uses Google Analytics (Google, Inc.) to count website visitors and analyze usage of the site to help determine the value of site content to users. The expiration date of these cookies vary; some expire after a session ends or a browser window is closed, and some end after 2 years. The statistical data is stored at Google, but IP address are anonymized (made anonymous) so that no personal data is gathered by this website or transmitted to Google’s database.
First-Party Cookies for Google Analytics: _ga, _gid, _gat
See information on 3rd-party Google Analytics cookies.
- Blog Comments (WP Discuz)
Cookie Name: comment_author_*, comment_author_email_*, custom_field_*
Cookie Type: Functionality / Feature
About the Cookie: You have the option to accept or decline these cookies, which are used to “remember” you whenever you comment on blog posts. These cookies can be revoked by clearing your browser cache.
- Device Theme Switcher
Cookie Name: katrossbooks-alternate-theme
Cookie Type: Session Cookie, User Preference
About the Cookie: Stores a user preference because of user action (choosing to view the desktop site from the mobile device through links at bottom of mobile version of the site). The cookie expires at the end of the browser session.
- WordPress Cookies
Cookie Name: wordress_test_cookie
Cookie Type: Session Cookie
About the Cookie: This cookie is only placed if you happen upon the login page for the site. It does not retain any personal data but simply checks to see if your browser has cookies enabled. You should never see this cookie, but just in case you do, we wanted you to know what it does.
- Google Analytics
Some third-party services used on this website may place Google Analytics cookies in your browser. This website has no control over those cookies or any data they may collect.
Common Cookie Name(s): __utma, __utmt, __utmb, __utmc, __utmz, _dc_gtm_*, AMP_TOKEN, _gac_*
- Affiliate Cookies
This site may include affiliate links in posts and pages to products at online retailers such as Amazon.com. These online retailers may pay out a small commission if you purchase something through that retailer. Clicking on one of these product links will place a temporary cookie in your browser that tells the online retailer that you found the product on this site. These cookies typically expire within 24 hours of placement.
This website sometimes features audio content from SoundCloud, a service that delivers audio content managed by SoundCloud Limited. If you visit a page on this website with embedded SoundCloud audio content, SoundCloud.com will place a cookie (sc_anonymous_id) to enable the SoundCloud player. It may also place others (ScorecardRearches: , UID, UIDR), so please review SoundCloud’s privacy and cookie policies for more information. The sc_anonymous_id cookie expires 10 years or until the browser cache is emptied (HTTP cookie).
This website may sometimes use YouTube to deliver video content. YouTube cookies enable you to view any YouTube-embedded videos included on this site’s pages or blog posts. The expiration date of these cookies vary; some expire after a session ends or a browser window is closed, and some end after 20 years.
When possible, this website uses YouTube’s privacy-enhanced mode for embedding videos. YouTube cookies may be set on your computer after you click on the YouTube video player, but YouTube will not store any personally identifying information for playbacks of videos embedded with privacy-enhanced mode. To find out more, please visit YouTube’s embedding videos information page.
Common YouTube cookies: APISID, CONSENT, HSID, LOGIN_INFO, PREF, SAPISID, SID, SSID, VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE, YSC, 1P_JAR, DV, NID
- Social Media
Most browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera, etc.) are configured to accept cookies but allow users to manage those cookie settings and provide ways to delete cookies. These are official instructions for major browsers:
For more information about cookies, see http://www.allaboutcookies.org