What Are Website Cookie Policies and Why You Need To Apply Them
Providing a fast yet secure Web service can be a challenge. Here is a valuable insight into the cookies that help do just that.
The trust of users towards your website is built on transparency. Therefore, users need to know how your website processes, stores, and uses information. Depending on it, users will understand whether their personal data is safe and how the website they visit cares about their sensitive information.
Cookies are small text files that a web server stores on computers using a browser. Any information about a website visitor can be recorded in these files: what time and from what device a person visited the page, what services or products he or she was interested in, etc.
Every website has its own set of unique visible cookie files. Websites have access to the cookies of users who visit these websites. However, for example, eCommerce websites cannot access the files of users of streaming platforms.
It is prohibited to record the personal data of users to cookies.
Nevertheless, cookies can still contain valuable information that cyber attackers can steal and sell illegally, violating your data privacy.
When you visit any website, you can find out whether it gathers information about you. You need to open the “Confidentiality” section in your settings.
Make your website secure with Go Wombat — contact us!
Browsers and servers are exchanging data using HTTP protocol during a session. A piece of information will be stored only during one session. When the tab is closed, this information is deleted as unnecessary.
However, some files are stored for a long time, and a particular cookies.txt file is created in the browser’s directory by default. Of course, users can delete these cookies. The information from this file is used during the following sessions on websites. When a new session starts, a browser uploads all credentials on its own or applies other settings. It reduces the load on the server, and users are satisfied with a high performance of a website.
Well, now you know how cookies work. Then, let’s examine the types of existing cookies and their details.
Permanent or persistent cookies keep working even when the web browser has closed. This is because permanent cookies remain on the user’s device for a long time. However, some websites have time limits: if users don’t visit a website for a specific period, they will need to enter their data again next time.
First-party cookies are created and used by the website that users visit. Using first-party cookies, websites can gather analytical data, remember language settings, and enable other helpful features contributing to a better user experience.
Third-party cookies are created and installed not by a website users visit but by third parties which collect specific information about users to identify their behaviour or spending habits. For example, advertisers can be a third party and use such cookies to target their products and services to the right audience.
Flash cookies or super cookies are files recorded by a top-level domain system. For example, users visit the website text.example.com, but cookies are recorded by example.com, i.e., by a top-level domain. Such cookies are insecure and can be stolen by cyber attackers. So search engines usually block resources with such cookies.
This is the type of ‘flash cookies’ are recreated after the deletion. Even if users deleted all cookies from the browser’s history, these cookies could be restored and used by third-party systems. Search engines also block resources that strive to record the information insecurely.
These cookies are essential to provide you with the requested services, which means they cannot be switched off through the consent banner. For example, cookies that save your cookies preferences.
Cookies are used to evaluate how often our website is visited and how the website is utilised. We use this information to give you a better user experience and improve our services according to your demands. We use third-party cookies for these evaluations.
Here, at the Go Wombat website, we use the latter ones — Strictly Necessary and Performance cookies.
Let’s consider situations where cookies are a must-have:
Today, almost all websites open more opportunities for users after authorisation. Users would have to enter credentials again after each visit if it weren't for cookies. It takes more time and irritates users, especially with mobile devices. All necessary information is transferred when the session opens, so users can quickly sign in using their saved personal data.
eCommerce websites would have been more difficult to use without cookies for the comparison and purchase of goods. The shopping cart holds all items users selected even if they left a website for a while.
Most users today open social media accounts more often than emails. Cookies make it possible to save information about personal settings, regions, languages, and other parameters. Otherwise, users would have to configure and set up everything from the beginning.
Firstly, if your website is based in the European Union or your business stores, processes or gathers data from EU citizens, you need to comply with the GDPR.
GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation, and we have already covered this topic. You can find out more about the comparison of GDPR and HIPAA, as well as check out the article about the impact of GDPR on small- and medium-sized businesses.
Cookie banners compliance requirements include the following.
- Link to your cookies policy
- Option to opt in or opt-out
- Acting in good faith to opt customers out
- How you deploy cookies
- How you handle third-party data sharing
Banners must be visible to anyone and contain clear messages.
The CCPA protects website and app users from companies which store cookies on their devices without consent. All users under the GDPR have legal rights when it comes to the processing or keeping of their personal information.
There are the following consumer rights under the CCPA:
- Right to opt-out
- Right to be informed
- Right to disclosure
- Right to deletion
- Right to equal services and prices
These regulations are among the most frequently applied.
Still, all regions have local laws you must follow and build the protection of personal data according to them.
It is vital for you to understand the importance of compliance with local regulations since your business and trustful relationships with customers depend on your attitude to their security.
At Go Wombat, we are experts in making your website or app compliant with GDPR since our certified Chief Information Security Officer has vast experience creating apps that meet the GDPR requirements.
Remember, if you are compliant with local regulations — it already takes your business to a higher level. It demonstrates your serious approach.
Go Wombat’s specialists have all the skills to make it real, and we are always ready!
Start the development of your software projects with Go Wombat contact us!
- Providing a fast yet secure Web service can be a challenge. Here is a valuable insight into the cookies that help do just that.
- What are Cookies?
- How Cookies Work
- Types of Cookies
- Let’s Make It Together!