Have you been receiving more popups encouraging you to allow cookies? Especially when you visit news sites? Reuters Institute at Oxford found the amount of sites that push cookies without consent have dropped by 22% since May. In the same period “consent banners” have risen by 16%. Keep reading to learn why.
This is due to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) implemented May 2018 to tighten EU law around online data collection.
What are cookies?
Cookies are a packet of data sent to your computer when you visit a site. They are then sent back to the site unaltered to help sites learn characteristics about your web browsing.
Some cookies we couldn’t do without, like authentication ones. These ensure that when you’re logged into a site the site doesn’t log you out as soon as you change web pages.
Cookies generally do not contain viruses, but they can slow down your internet surfing habits if you have too many in your internet browser. GDPR requires site visitors to actively opt into cookies, especially tracking ones or ones that use personal data.
What does this have to do with GDPR?
Websites are not discrete entities, they contain first and third party content. First party content is content attached to the web address (URL) you see directly above the page.
Third party content might be hosted on the perimeters of the same site but will have separate web addresses and represent different companies. When third-party content is present, often it comes with cookies that track your browsing habits for marketing and advertising purposes.
The Reuters report references news sites specifically, not only because Reuters is a journalism institute, but also because these sites rely heavily on this format to keep their sites afloat. You’re receiving their online reporting for free and their accounts have to be balanced somehow.
While third party content hasn’t decreased, third party cookies have, dropping 45% in the UK and over 30% in France, Spain and Italy after GDPR. Despite the number of third party cookies going down, you should still clear your internet browser of cache and cookies– learn how here.
Protect yourself from malicious supercookies or zombiecookies by purchasing a VPN. Nord VPN encrypts data sent from your computer to the server so no one can track your web browsing or listen in.
Consider purchasing an antivirus like McAfee Total Protection. McAfee provides complete online protection, a spam blocker, and file encryption. You have access to half off here.
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