You’ve probably noticed that more and more websites are asking you to accept their cookies before you can browse their website. Why is this and should you accept or deny them?
First of all – a website cookie is simply a file that gets stored on your computer when you visit a website. This file identifies you as a user or visitor to that site and typically tracks your activity and things such as; links you click, accounts you log into, settings and preferences you choose for that site and items in a shopping cart.
Social media sites are really good at tracking the links you click and then present you with similar content on other sites. This is the reason why when you do a search for a new car, you start seeing advertisements for automobiles across many of your other social media platforms.
So – why are we seeing more requests to accept cookies? The reason for this is because of new global privacy changes, particular those coming out of the European Union called General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Those that are bound by this now have to get your consent before they can dump their cookies on to your PC.
Back to the question – Does that mean you have to accept them?
The simple answer is ‘No.’ And, in my opinion if it doesn’t affect your experience within the website then don’t do it.
You may find that some sites won’t work as well if you don’t accept the cookies – particularly those where you might be buying a product and the site needs to remember what’s in your shopping cart. But, for the most part, sites will work just fine if you don’t accept their cookies.
In a world where the lines between wanting to stay connected and maintaining some sense of privacy are blurring, it is important to be mindful of what information you are actually sharing and to whom.