What is a cookie?
A cookie is a text file which contains a small amount of information and is stored on your device visiting a website. During every future visit, these cookies are being sent back to the website they originate from or other websites which recognise the cookie. Cookies are useful because this way websites are able to recognise features of the single users (for e.g. registered login, preferred language, font size and other display features). This way, cookies allow us to customise the website to your preferences, so you won’t need to enter your personal settings anew every time.
Cookies are therefore used to execute authentications, to monitor visits and to observe your behaviour on a website. They may also contain an explicit identification code which is monitoring the navigation within the website for statistical purposes or advertising. During the navigation on the website, you are also able to receive cookies from other websites or web servers on your device. Some features may not work correctly or not at all without cookies, therefore in certain cases they are technically necessary in order to guarantee the proper functioning of the website.
Types of cookies
There are different types of cookies. According to their features and functions they may be stored on your device for different periods of time: session cookies are being deleted automatically once you close your browser; the so-called persistent cookies will remain on your device for a previously defined period of time.
We distinguish between the following types of cookies:
- Technical cookies: They allow you the navigation based on selected features (for e.g. language settings, shopping cart items) in order to improve the comfort and performance of the website.
- Analytics cookies: They are employed directly by the website operator in order to gather information regarding the number and behaviour of users on their website.
- Profiling cookies: They record your navigation and create a user profile based on your surfing behaviour. In doing so, you may receive customised advertising messages which match your interests and habits.
- Third-party cookies: These cookies originate from other websites or web servers and serve to their purposes. For further information please refer directly to the respective third-party operators. It is usually possible to deactivate the use of third-party cookies directly in your browser settings.
Technical cookies, according to the Authority for Personal Data Protection (see Prov.Gen. „Erkennung vereinfachter Verfahren für die Information und den Erhalt der Zustimmung für die Verwendung der Cookies - 8. Mai 2014“), do not necessitate the explicit consent of the user. Cookies which are aimed at the creation of user profiles and the generation of advertising messages necessitate the previous consent of the user.
During a visit of a website, cookies are being set both by the visited website and other organisations. Particularly worth mentioning are the social plug-ins as Facebook, Twitter and Google+. They are about areas of the visited website which are being generated by a third-party operator and integrated into the visited website. The most common use of social plug-ins is aimed at the exchange of contents via social networks. You will find additional information regarding third-party cookies in their respective cookie regulations. In order to guarantee the highest level of transparency and comfort, you will find in the following various sites featuring information and ranges of application of cookies.
Among the analytics cookies, the ones from Google Analytics, a web analysis service of Google Inc., are particularly worth mentioning. These cookies enable the use of Google Analytics and help the website operator to analyse the activities on the website, such as the number of users, the search criteria, the used services and the average duration of the visits. Further they provide additional data which makes it easier to design more user-friendly contents.
In case you would like to use no cookies, we have put together some links where you will find detailed information on the deactivation of cookies for the most popular browsers. Should your browser not appear in the list, please just consult a search engine.