|What cookies are and how to control them.
This article explains what cookies are and how to enable or disable them for your web browser.
- What are cookies?
- Managing cookies in Internet Explorer
- Managing cookies in Safari
- Managing cookies in Firefox
1. What are cookies?
Cookies are small files that allow your web browser to store information about the websites you visit.
They store the following information:
- The web server the cookie came from
- The lifespan of the cookie (this can either be permanent or expire after set amount of time or when the browser is closed)
- A unique reference, which let web servers recognise them
Cookies have a wide range of uses, from remembering when you're logged in to a site to storing the contents of an online shopping basket.
Many sites need cookies to work properly. This is usually the case with online bank and shop sites and you'll not be able to login to the Metronet Member Centre if you turn cookies off.
2. Managing cookies in Internet Explorer
Click the Tools menu and select Internet Options:
Go to the Privacy tab, the settings range from blocking all cookies to allowing all cookies. We recommend leaving this as Medium.
- Choose the level of protection, this is set to Medium by default
- If you want to edit settings for individual sites, click the Sites button
- If you want to edit the advanced settings, click the Advanced button
The Sites button lets you create settings for individual sites:
- Add the address of a site here
- Choose if you want to block or allow the site
- Any site you add will be listed here
- Use these buttons to remove one or all sites from the list
To see more settings click the Advanced button:
- Internet Explorer will handle cookies for you, if want to overrule it, tick this box and set the options below
- Choose how to deal with first-party cookies
- Choose how to deal with third-party cookies
- Choose whether to allow session cookies
First-party cookies are sent directly from the website you are viewing.
If a Web page has images or other code that's stored on the servers of another website site, the cookies sent from the other site are known as third-party cookies. These are most commonly used by advertisers.
Session cookies make sure you're recognised when you move from page to page within a website. If a shopping site didn't use session cookies then items placed in a shopping basket would disappear by the time you reach the checkout.
3. Managing cookies in Safari
Click the Safari menu and choose Preferences:
Click on the Security tab, here you can choose whether to accept all cookies, no cookies or just those for the site you're looking at.
Click Show Cookies to see a list of the cookies stored on your system at the moment
- Click on a cookie if you want to remove it
- Click Remove if you've highlighted a single cookie
- Click Remove All to remove all cookies stored
- Click Done when you've finished with this screen
4. Managing cookies in Firefox
Click Tools and select Options:
Select the Privacy tab:
- Use this to block or allow cookies
- Keep until lets you decide how long cookies will be kept for
- If you want to block or allow cookies from a specific website, use Exceptions
- See below for more information
To view and manage the cookies currently stored on your system click Show Cookies.
- Click on a site to see the cookies stored for it
- This is a preference cookie stored from google.co.uk
- Here you can see the contents of the cookie and when it expires
- Use Remove Cookie to remove a single cookie
- Remove All Cookies removes all stored cookies
- Click the Done button when you've finished with this screen
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