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What are cookies?

An internet cookie is something called a website text file that is saved in your browser. Cookies are used, among other things, to give the visitor a better experience by saving their history on the site.

1 May



Karin Flarup

An introduction: What are cookies?

An internet cookie is something called a website text file that is stored in your browser. Cookies are used to give visitors a better experience by saving their history on the site. There are also many features that work thanks to cookies that you cannot turn off because then the site would stop working as it should.

In general, there are two types of cookies: Session cookies are deleted from your browser when you close the browser, they are used, for example, to remember which language you have chosen to display the page in during your visit so that you do not have to re-select the language when you click on a new page. Time-based cookies can be stored on your computer's browser for a longer period of time.

When are cookies used and for what?

It depends entirely on what functions you have built and/or linked to your website. Some cookies are necessary for the website to look and work as intended with color text size and animations, these cannot be turned off, but you as a visitor must be able to approve these to use the site as it is intended to be displayed.

Some websites that offer a login platform use cookies to help the user remember when they are logged in or not. Teacher or education platforms may need to remember answers given to digital tests or voting functions, an online shop wants to remember what items you have added to your shopping cart, and so on.

What are third-party cookies?

As a website owner, you want to measure statistics from a provider that offers statistical tools such as Google Analytics. You can measure how many unique visitors you have on your website, which countries or cities they come from, whether they bought something on the site or submitted requests via forms (via set objectives) or which pages are the most popular. This can help companies to further develop landing pages to present their information in a way that is appreciated by visitors.

If you want to promote the offer of a specific product to all those who viewed the product, you can do so via Google Ads display ads using timed cookies provided that the visitor has not cleared their cookies on their browser. Any external service you use on your site may use cookies to do the work it is intended to do. If you use a video from YouTube or a PowerPoint presentation from someone else, they may also be able to track the use of their material using cookies. These are all called third party cookies.

What are my responsibilities as a website owner under GDPR law?

It is the company's legal responsibility to ensure that you declare the cookies that are on your website to the user during their visit. In the past (not too long ago), you declared cookies via writing on a page you named cookies and you manually added the cookies you used on the site you also created a popup that said "- Here we use cookies, click to accept" .

Today, the manual way doesn't work anymore if you want to comply with the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and ePR (ePrivacy Directive), which everyone who owns a website in the EU must do. You have to give the visitor the right to update their cookie preferences - that is, you have to give them the right to turn off marketing cookies or other third-party cookies you may have on your website. So it's not enough to have a pop-up where you click OK. According to the law, you have to save information about when the browser accepted and which cookies it was.

Advanced cookie management with Atom Agency

Something that is so advanced can now be really simple. We offer our support contract customers an add-on called"Advanced Cookie Management". It automatically scans your page and declares your current cookies to visitors in a seamless way. Visitors can update their preferences at any time via a cookie policy page (see example of our cookie policy). Feel confident knowing exactly what cookies you have on your website and that our advanced cookie management blocks all cookies until your website users have accepted your cookies and thus legally collect information about them.

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