What is a Cookie?

Contrary to the popular sweet treat, a Cookie in the online world is a piece of data that stores information about a person and their activity on a website.

Prior to deciding on a Cookie Popup, obtaining a basic understanding of what cookies are can be a useful and often essential starting point.

They serve as text files that get saved in your browser whenever you visit a website. Simple data such as the visited URL, cookie expiration date (or "use by" date), and user ID are all aspects of data stored in the cookie.

Specifically for users, the data stored by Cookies proves helpful. Data collected may include clickstream data, session information, saved preferences, shopping cart content and more. As a result, the user's preferences can be remembered and catered to on subsequent visits.

It is worth noting that Cookies cannot be used to reveal user identity: they do not save any personal data. Instead, cookies are used to generate profiles of users' online activities and use it to render the site more appropriately.

What is a Cookie Pop-up?

A Cookie Pop-up is a public disclosure of the types of Cookies used on the site, why they’re used and who else has access to the data, if any.

When first visiting a website, visitors may see a pop-up informing them about the site’s Cookie Policy. Not only are users informed of the policy, they are also able to modify their preferences or alternatively disable any optional Cookies.

Should I Trust Cookies?


The majority of internet users were unaware that their online behaviour was being monitored until very recently. If you remember the days before cookie popups you may be harder to convince. Whilst it is true Cookies don’t reveal any personally identifiable information, some users are affected by the ability of Cookies to influence targeted advertising due to the feeling of being “watched” that this creates.

However, Cookies are trustworthy and safe

It is more about whether Cookies are useful that divides website visitors. Some hold the opinion that Cookies are useful in order to prevent receiving adverts with no appeal to the user’s own interests. From a marketing perspective of businesses, cookies are useful in order to personalise and tailor ads to users falling in their target audience. Therefore, online businesses might need a cookie popup.

How Many Types of Cookie are There?

Two distinct kinds of Cookies exist when looking at their intended use.

  • Session Cookies exist temporarily, being stored in a specific browser subfolder for as long as the user remains on the site. Upon exit from the site, session cookies will be deleted.
  • Persistent cookies occur when the user may return to a site that has been previously visited. These Cookies reside in the browser subfolder for as long as the duration set within the cookie specifies.

Three Cookies are specifically designed for data collection.

  • Visitor Preference Cookies: Remember if on previous visits to the site, the user had accepted the Cookie Pop-up, and therefore does not display it again after Cookie installation.
  • Operation Cookies: Cannot be disabled; essential for the operation of the page.
  • Analytic Cookies: Collect information anonymously, as part of internal research that allows for user experience to be enhanced.

Do I Need a Cookie Pop-up?


Under the legal requirement of GDPR, a data protection law established in the EU in 2018, Cookie Pop-Ups became compulsory components of any website collecting information on visiting users that is compliant with EU laws.

It therefore became a requirement that users were alerted to the option to deactivate this feature if they felt it was not necessary to have their data collected.

A website should also include a privacy policy that clearly states how personal information will be handled. Having a clear explanation for consumers about the collection and use of their data is an absolute necessity if you are considering a website that has access to user information. To read more about privacy policies, see our blog, “...”.

Hopefully from reading this blog it has become clear as to whether cookie policies are needed for you and your website. We have covered the basis of cookie policies, ranging from their various types to whether they are trustworthy or not. If any questions have arisen after reading, please do not hesitate to contact us…