How to delete cookies from computer

Cookies are small pieces of text stored by a web page, through the web browser, on a visitor’s computer. Web-developers put cookies to use for a number of reasons, but primarily to identify the user when they visit the website. An example of such use might be so that if a user has searched through a particular online store for a certain range of gardening equipment, the next time they visit the store they will be greeted by the results of their last search.

One of the benefits to the website, of the use of cookies, is that they can tailor advertising material and content displayed more precisely to the user’s interests; a potential benefit to the user is that their browsing experience becomes more tailored to their particular interests.

Through its European e-Privacy directive, which came into force in late May of 2011, the European Union has imposed significant restrictions on how businesses use cookies and the data they accumulate, for the purposes of behavioural marketing. How these changes will be implemented in national law has yet to be articulated, but it is likely to place more emphasis on users actively permitting sites to process their data using cookies.

The precise method of how to delete cookies on your computer will vary depending on which particular browser you are using. However, whichever browser you happen to be using, the following shortcut often works to display the security Window for deleting cookies etc. Press these three keys together: Control (the CTRL key), Shift (the “up” arrow located close to the control key) and Delete.

Again, while the exact process will differ depending on which browser you use, generally speaking a Window will appear offering you the opportunity to delete, among other things: cookies, browsing history and temporary Internet files (or the cache). Some search engines will also offer you the opportunity to select how far back you want the files deleted (i.e. everything in the last hour, day week, month or further back than that). Choose whichever options you prefer and click “OK” (or whatever else is equivalent to OK for that browser).

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