A cookie is limited to a small amount of data and can only be read by the website that created it.
To avoid the size limitations of cookies, some websites will store a unique identification code in a cookie, and the remainder of the data in their own databases.
Cookies are generally used to:
- Store and maintain user preferences for a website
- Determine who are new and returning visitors
- Track user behaviour (analytics)
- Store items in shopping baskets
- Store log-in details
- Help advertisers show relevant targeted website adverts
Cookies can be disabled in your browser settings, however this could make some websites unusable (e.g. e-commerce).