Paul J. Siegenthaler

About the use of cookies on this website




in accordance with The Privacy and Electronic Communications
(EC Directive, May 2011).

The use of cookies on this website is limited to those that allow a statistical analysis of the readers' navigation though the website, which is a useful input to make improvements to the website's design and the relevance of its content.

You can adjust the way your browser manages cookies. The information displayed below (source : www.allaboutcookies.org) explains more about the types of cookies used on internet sites and their role, we well as how to adjust the settings of your browser if you wish to limit or exclude cookies.

What are cookies in computers?
Also known as browser cookies or tracking cookies, cookies are small, often encrypted text files, located in browser directories. They are used by web developers to help users navigate their websites efficiently and perform certain functions. Due to their core role of enhancing/enabling usability or site processes, disabling cookies may prevent users from using certain websites.
Cookies are created when a user's browser loads a particular website. The website sends information to the browser which then creates a text file. Every time the user goes back to the same website, the browser retrieves and sends this file to the website's server. Computer Cookies are created not just by the website the user is browsing but also by other websites that run ads, widgets, or other elements on the page being loaded. These cookies regulate how the ads appear or how the widgets and other elements function on the page.
 
Standard uses for browser cookies
Website servers set cookies to help authenticate the user if the user logs in to a secure area of the website. Login information is stored in a cookie so the user can enter and leave the website without having to re-enter the same authentication information over and over. Session Cookies are also used by the server to store information about user page activities so users can easily pick up where they left off on the server's pages. By default, web pages really don't have any 'memory'. Cookies tell the server what pages to show the user so the user doesn't have to remember or start navigating the site all over again. Cookies act as a sort of “bookmark” within the site. Similarly, cookies can store ordering information needed to make shopping carts work instead of forcing the user to remember all the items the user put in the shopping cart.

Persistent or tracking Cookies are also employed to store user preferences. Many websites allow the user to customize how information is presented through site layouts or themes. These changes make the site easier to navigate and/or lets user leave a part of the user's “personality” at the site.
 
Cookie security and privacy issues
Cookies are NOT viruses. Cookies use a plain text format. They are not compiled pieces of code so they cannot be executed nor are they self-executing. Accordingly, they cannot make copies of themselves and spread to other networks to execute and replicate again. Since they cannot perform these functions, they fall outside the standard virus definition.
Cookies CAN be used for malicious purposes though. Since they store information about a user's browsing preferences and history, both on a specific site and browsing among several sites, cookies can be used to act as a form of spyware. Many anti-spyware products are well aware of this problem and routinely flag cookies as candidates for deletion after standard virus and/or spyware scans. See here for some privacy issues and concerns.
The way responsible and ethical web developers deal with privacy issues caused by cookie tracking is by including clear descriptions of how cookies are deployed on their site. If you are a web developer and need advice on implantation of cookies and a privacy policy, we suggest you contact marketing specialists who offer search engine optimisation services. These privacy policies should explain what kind of information is collected and how the information is used.
 
Most browsers have built in privacy settings that provide differing levels of cookie acceptance, expiration time, and disposal after a user has visited a particular site. Backing up your computer can give you the peace of mind that your files are safe.
Click on the link for your browser below to get information on how to prevent cookies from being created on your particular browser.
 
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EU Cookie Law compliance statement : use of cookies on this website is limited to navigation tracking for statistical purposes only.
To find out more about cookies, in accordance with the EU Law in effect from 26th May 2012, click here.