What Is A Cookie?

Cookies are files containing small pieces of information – these files are used to identify your computer while you are using a browser such as Google, Safari, or Mozilla Firefox. Cookies are created when you visit a website that uses cookies to track your movements within the site. This may sound creepy, but cookies are often used with the intention of improving your web browsing experience – for example, to help you resume where you left off on a website, keep items in your basket, remember your registered login, or serve you advertisements that are useful to you personally. If you are an internet user you will regularly be creating these cookies. But, not all cookies are equal. There is a difference between the cookies – First party and Third party.

First party cookies are stored by the website that you visit. They allow the owner of the website to collect analytics data, remember language settings, and perform other useful functions that provide a good user experience. 

Third party cookies are created by third party websites – aka not the website you are browsing. They are typically used for digital advertising and are placed on a website through a script or tag. Third party cookies are accessible on any website that loads the third party server’s code.

First party cookies are supported by all browsers, and the user can block or delete them. Third-party cookies were supported by all browsers, but the change started in 2018 with Safari and subsequently Firefox blocking the creation of third party cookies and now of course Google following up to make the change complete. Some users are also deleting their own third party cookies, feeling uncomfortable with how these cookies interfere with their online privacy.