What do cookies do?

Cookies follow your online activity and collect information about what you do1. What are cookies used for? By following your online activites cookies can report back to the sites that left them on your computer and can profile your interest and tastes. This can then be used to recommend you targetted advertising for example.2 To avoid being closely targetted you can logout of platforms you use and clear your browser data after each session. This will not stop cookies interacting during a session, but can remove some* cookies so they won’t interact with cookies in future sessions.1

*the exception being flash-cookies, see source 1 or 3

For more advice on online safety, see:

  • http://www.allaboutcookies.org/privacy-concerns/
  • https://computer.howstuffworks.com/cookie5.htm
  • https://www.consumerreports.org/privacy/how-to-control-web-cookies-and-boost-online-privacy/

Sources:
1: Ochs, C. (2013). Wettrüsten der Skripte. Widersprüchlichkeiten soziotechnischer Privatheitspraktiken im Internet. In: Ackermann, U. (Hg.): Im Sog des Internets. Öffentlichkeit und Privatheit im digitalen Zeitalter. Frankfurt/M.: Humanities Online, S. 111-129.
2: Kennedy, H., & Moss, G. (2015). Known or knowing publics? Social media data mining and the question of public agency. Big Data & Society, 2(2), 205395171561114. doi:10.1177/2053951715611145
3: http://www.allaboutcookies.org/privacy-concerns/