What is a cookie?
A cookie is a small file which stores Internet settings. It is downloaded by your Internet browser the first time you visit a website. The next time you call up this website using the same end device, the cookie and the information stored in it is either sent to the website which generated it (first party cookie) or to another website to which it belongs (third party cookie). As a result, the website detects that it has already been called up once before with this browser and in some cases varies the content displayed.
Some cookies are extremely useful as they can improve the user experience the next time you call up a website which you have already visited several times before. Provided that you are using the same end device and the same browser as before, cookies remember your favourites, for example or how you use a page and tailor the displayed content to your personal interests and needs.
Depending on their function and their intended purpose, cookies can be divided up into four categories: absolutely essential cookies, performance cookies, functional cookies and cookies for marketing purposes.
Absolutely essential cookies
Absolutely essential cookies are required to allow you to navigate through a website and use its properties. Without these cookies functionalities cannot be guaranteed, for example, that any actions you carry out while visiting a website are retained even if you are navigating between the individual pages of the website.
Functional cookies enable a website to save information already provided and to offer the user improved, more personalised functions. Functional cookies are used, for example, to make requested functions such as playing videos available. These cookies collect anonymised information. They cannot track your movements on other websites.
Performance cookies collect information about the way in which a website is used – for example, which pages a visitor calls up most frequently and whether he receives error messages from a page. These cookies do not store any information which would allow the user to be identified. The information collected is aggregated and thus evaluated anonymously. These cookies are used exclusively to improve the performance of a website and thereby the user experience.
Cookies for marketing purposes
Cookies for marketing purposes are used to generate targeted advertisements that are relevant to the user and tailored to his interests. They are also used to limit the frequency with which an advertisement is displayed and to measure the effectiveness of advertising campaigns. They register whether someone has visited a website or not. This information can be shared with third parties such as advertisers, for example. Cookies for improving target group addressing and advertising are often linked to the page functionalities of third parties.
Managing and deleting cookies