A cookie is a piece of information in the form of a very small text file that is placed on an internet user's computer. It is generated by a web page server, which is basically the computer that operates a web site. The information the cookie contains is set by the server and it can be used by that server whenever the user visits the site. A cookie can be thought of as an internet user's identification card, which tell a web site when the user has returned.
What does a cookie look like?
Below is the content of a typical cookie. This one is from Hotmail and has the file name firstname.lastname@example.org (.txt is the standard filename extension for text files):
HMP1 1 hotmail.msn.com/ 0 1715191808 32107852 1236821008 29449527 *
The codes will only make sense to Microsoft's MSN Hotmail servers.
There are two main kinds of cookies: session cookies and persistent cookies. Session cookies are deleted from your computer when you close your browser, whereas persistent cookies remain stored on your computer until deleted, or until they reach their expiry date.
Can cookies threaten users' privacy?
Cookies are stored on the computer's hard drive. They cannot access the hard drive - so a cookie can't read other information saved on the hard drive, or get a user's e-mail address etc. They only contain and transfer to the server as much information as the users themselves have disclosed to a certain web site.
Cookies on our website
Third party cookies
When you use this website, you may also be sent the following third party cookies. Horsham District Council uses a number of suppliers and link to other other websites outside our control who also set cookies on the our website on its behalf in order to deliver the services that they are providing. If you would like more information about the cookies used by these suppliers.