Updated: 30 January 2016
Welcome to our cookie page!
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- What are “cookies”?
- Are they dangerous?
- Can I use this site without the cookies?
- What do these cookies you speak of look like?
- What kinds of cookies do you use?
- How can I delete any cookies you have installed already or will infect me with if I continue browsing your site?
- Can I manually disable cookies? Should I?
- What is the history of cookies? Why call them “cookies”?
- Why did we need to tell you about cookies?
- What is the “Cookie Law”?
- I’m looking for cookie recipes, not this inedible website kind. Where can I find those?
- More information on cookies
What are “cookies”?
No, not those cookies. Cookies, in computer and techy parlance, are small text files stored on the user’s hard drive by the web server which are meant to improve your/the surfer’s experience by storing bits of information. Cookies help the website remember the user’s preferences, logged-in state, and other useful functions, each time the visitor comes back. Essentially, cookies can be considered as “first-party” or “third-party” in nature; first-party cookies are those set and controlled by the website itself, while third-party cookies are set by outside applications, such as ad networks, which are utilized by the website.
Cookies are simple text files, usually just strings of numbers and letters which really can only be read by the website which created it. A typical cookie will contain items in such fields as: server’s name (which created the cookie), expiration policy of the cookie, and miscellaneous values to be determined by the webpage and third-party applications which have access to place cookies on the site, such as analytic software and content delivery platforms.
Cookies were designed and are used because the basic HTTP protocol used to transmit data between the user and the website is without a state; each request for every subsequent page that is opened is considered as unrelated and new, even if the visitor clicks on a link within the site that goes elsewhere within the same site. Cookies are necessary to kind of fill in the gap and associate each separate page of one site with another, or else your logged-in state on one page would change into logged out upon a visit to the next page or refresh. This is just one of the many uses which cookies perform.
Are they dangerous?
The short answer is, no, they are not! Cookies are garbled lines of text, not nefarious (or other) codes or applications or programs. They can’t do anything, but rather just define things for the website involved. Also, they are a type of text that is so jumbled so as to be meaningless to everyone and anything but the website that originally defined it. If you want to see what I mean, check out the snapshot of a regular cookie on our site in one of the sections below.
Can I use this site without the cookies?
Sure! You can disable some cookies, all cookies, one cookie, or no cookies. This is completely up to you. However, because of how dependent most of the internet has become on cookies, there are many things you might not be able to do, such as log in to some sites. On our sites, they help to remember you when you leave a comment or create an account to post on our forums, for example.
What do these cookies you speak of look like?
Here is a snapshot I took of a standard cookie on one of our sites:
See how completely unreadable that is? The “content” section is the key part, and it defines something to the site. In this example, this cookie is a third-party advertising cookie from the aptly-named Advertising.com. It also has labeled there its creation date and its expiration date.
What kinds of cookies do you use?
This site, just like most (if not all) of the sites under the Pardeaplex umbrella, uses some pretty basic cookies. For example, this is a site powered by the WordPress platform, so there are some standard cookies associated with that, like “WordPress Settings” and “Logged-In” status. There are advertisement cookies that may be found on here, all coming from the various ads that might show on this site (these are third-party cookies). Then, there is probably a cookie or two for any analytical software we might be using to track and benchmark our website’s visitors (we currently use Google Analytics).
You can easily see for yourself, if you’re interested, which cookies our site (or any site, for that matter) uses by enabling developer tools in your browser. If you’re in Google Chrome, for example, you’d go to “Developer Tools” and then click on the “Resources” tab, and then find the option beneath that for cookies; this will list all the cookies on that particular page that you are on. You can then browse through the site, leaving that developer toolbox open, watching the cookies change from page to page.
How can I delete any cookies you have installed already or will infect me with if I continue browsing your site?
First of all, don’t use the word infect; it’s not that serious, I assure you (again)! If you’re in Chrome, for example, simply go to your Settings, then scroll down and click on “Show Advanced Settings.” Under “Privacy,” click on “Content Settings,” and then click on “All Cookie and Site Data.” Here you can see all the cookies that have been stored from our website and others, with options to remove them one by one or all at once.
Can I manually disable cookies? Should I?
Sure, you can manually include or exclude cookies stored by certain sites. If you’re in Chrome, for example, simply go to your Settings, then scroll down and click on “Show Advanced Settings.” Under “Privacy,” click on “Content Settings,” and then click on “Manage Exceptions.” Here you can block cookies, allow cookies, or clear on browser exit, all based on URLs.
Should I? Like I’ve said before, since they’re harmless and only attempt to help, I’d recommend leaving them enabled. For example, to promote social sharing, we implement sharing tools from third-party sites, such as those hovering “like” buttons on the side or the share buttons at the end of an article; these linked-to sites may also place and access cookies on your computer or phone, and that’s why we call them “third-party.”
What is the history of cookies? Why call them “cookies”?
Cookies were originally developed in 1995 by Netscape (remember them?). “Cookie” supposedly comes from “magic cookie,” a programming term in for a piece of information shared between two programs. According to aboutcookies.org, “the choice of the word cookie appears to come from the American tradition of giving and sharing edible cookies.”
Why did we need to tell you about cookies?
I (I’m Christian, by the way, hello!) got bored one day and decided to talk about cookies. As per usual with me, I take what should have been a simple paragraph and turned it into this epic page.
The Cookie Law (see next paragraph) is now in effect in Europe and being adopted in a growing number of countries and locales worldwide. Also, it just seems to me like a good practice, no? I am actually not bound by the Cookie Law, but why not tell visitors that I use them on my sites? I want to be transparent and as accommodating as possible, so I wrote this 🙂
What is the “Cookie Law”?
I’m looking for cookie recipes, not this inedible website kind. Where can I find those?
I am not sure if we have any cookie recipes yet, but check out our site Everywhere Fare, where we try to document only the true, traditional versions of many recipes from around the world.
To specifically turn off third-party advertising cookies, check out these sites:
To find out more about cookies, check out these sites below:
For anything other than the information those sites contain, Google it 😉