Are All Cookies Monsters?

Are all Cookies monsters?

What’s this about biscuits?

Not biscuits actually, but cookies.

Here’s a question for you:
Well, two actually: does your business run a website that is a core element of your marketing, and do you use any kind of analytical service or tracking system to monitor the activity of visitors to your site in order to refine your marketing?

If you answered ‘Yes’ to either or both of these questions, you also need to ask yourself this: are you complying with the European e-Privacy Directive, otherwise known as the Cookie Law?

If your answer is ‘I don’t know’, then you really do need to find out.

Way back in May 2011 a change was made to European legislation that applied to how cookies and other similar technologies store information on your computer.

In a nutshell; if you are using a technology on your website that creates a cookie on a user’s computer, you must make it known to them that you are doing so, and give them information as to what information is stored and for how long.

What is a Cookie?
A cookie is a small file that contains data about your current or previous activity on a website. It can be used to store choices that you may have made, such as which items you have looked at on an e-commerce website like Amazon for example, or just to monitor how you got to the website you are viewing, what you did while you were there, and which page you were on when you decided to go elsewhere.

The vast majority of cookies are intended purely to enhance your online experience and do not record any personal information, but unfortunately, as is always the case, there are some people who prefer to work on the Dark Side of The Force and it is these people that the Directive is intended at identifying and stopping.

How Do I Find Out If My Site Uses Cookies?

Fortunately, there is an easy way to find out whether your site is using cookies or not, and that is to go to http://www.cookie-checker.com and enter your website URL.

Do I Really Need To Worry About This?

That depends on whether you value your customers’ rights to privacy and also whether you are willing to risk being caught and being handed a fine. On January 14th 2014, the first ‘Cookie Law’ fines were handed out in Europe by the Spanish Data Protection Regulator (DPA) totaling €3,500, so it’s unwise to assume that no-one is bothered about this.

All it takes is for one person to make a complaint about their online privacy being compromised, and your website will be investigated.

My Site Uses Cookies, What Do I Do Next?

Get in touch with us.

We implement a very simple JavaScript based solution that adds a small notice bar to the top of your screen informing visitors that your site uses cookies. It can be styled to match your site’s layout, it complies fully with the European e-Privacy Directive and it won’t interfere with how your website functions.

It’s also responsive, so for those of you who have a responsive website design, this integrates perfectly.

Don’t fall foul of the Cookie Monster – be a Cookie Master instead.

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