If you’ve ever read a newspaper article about the internet, it’s likely that someone, somewhere will have mentioned ‘cookies’. They may have been explained as an evil and intrusive spying mechanism tracking your every move on the net – or a harmless device designed to make your life easier. This guide should clear up any confusion and ease any concerns.
First, and contrary to popular belief, cookies are NOT programs. They don’t do anything at all. They are simple ’text files’ which you can read using the Notebook program on your own PC. Typically, they contain two pieces of information: a site name and unique user ID.
When you visit the Site, we may send you a cookie. A cookie is a small file that can be placed on your computer’s hard disk for record keeping purposes and we may use them to do a number of things:
1) Cookies help us to recognise you when you next visit the Site and note any advertisements displayed to you. This allows us to tailor the advertisements we provide to your preferences. We may use the services of third party ad servers for this purpose.
2) Cookies may be used to compile anonymous statistics related to the take up or use of services, or to patterns of browsing. A third party collects such data on our behalf to measure web site performance. Information collected is aggregated for reporting purposes. No personally identifiable information is collected by this service. The use of this service assists us in measuring and improving the structure and ease of use of our web sites.
3) We may also track IP addresses. An IP Address is a number that can identify an Internet Service Provider, country location etc. It cannot provide personal information. We will not use the IP Address to build a profile on users, we only use the information for demographic, statistical and security purposes.
Cookies cannot be used by themselves to identify you. You are not obliged to accept cookies and may modify your browser so that it will not accept cookies. If you configure your browser to reject cookies, you may still use some, but not all, portions of the Site. For example, the login process and all member functionality requires your browser to accept cookies.
How do they work?
The site then ’knows’ that you have been there before, and in some cases, tailors what pops up on screen to take account of that fact. For instance, it can be helpful to vary content according to whether this is your first ever visit to a site – or your 71st.
The good thing about cookies…
Some cookies are more sophisticated. They might record how long you spend on each page on a site, what links you click, even your preferences for page layouts and colour schemes. They can also be used to store data on what is in your ‘shopping cart’, adding items as you click.
The possibilities are endless, and generally the role of cookies is beneficial, making your interaction with frequently-visited sites smoother – for no extra effort on your part. Without cookies, online shopping would be much harder
…and the bad
So why the paranoia? The answer probably depends on how you feel about organisations – both big business and government – storing information about you. There is nothing especially secret or exceptional about the information gathered by cookies, but you may just dislike the idea of your name being added to marketing lists, or your information being used to target you for special offers. That is your right, just as others are entitled to go along with the process.
When cookies first started to appear, there was controversy. Some people regarded them as inherently sneaky – your PC was being used (without warning) to store personal information about you, which could then be used to build a picture of your browsing habits.
Cookies and the law
In the UK, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) will be closely monitoring sites to make sure that they comply with this new legislation, so there will be no avoiding the regulations. Websites have had over a year to make the changes to their code, so there should be no excuses!
You can of course still change how cookies are stored on your machine by clicking on the ‘Tools’ menu in your internet browser, but you may find that the new law means your concerns about privacy and your personal data have been addressed.
For more information please see: www.aboutcookies.org
All the information and advice on findmeyou.com is subject to personal tastes or experiences.
There is other dating advice available from many other sources, the advice on Findmeyou.com is given to protect and help our customers when searching for love. Although we can’t be responsible for our users dishonesty, we do advise against it. Findmeyou.com is an honest based dating service, we hope to provide our users with an honest online dating adventure and experience. This does not mean our advice will guarantee our customers dating success, but will give them the tools and best opportunity for finding love.