Cookies are small data files that store information in connection with a website. For example, a cookie may be created to store the contents of an online shopping basket, or to confirm that you are logged in as you browse the pages of a site. When a cookie is set, the sequence of events is the following:
- During first contact, the website offers you a cookie for a specific domain. If you accept the cookie, it is saved on your computer.
- Every time you make contact with a resource in that domain, the browser sends the cookie.
There is a reason for this rather abstract formulation: the cookie need not originate from the website whose address is given in the address field of the browser. For example, the website you are visiting may contain an advertisement in the form of an external image, and the site delivering the external image may offer you a cookie. These so-called third-party cookies are frequently used for marketing purposes.
Cookies can be used to construct a profile of your browsing habits, and are therefore regarded by some as a privacy issue.
If no expiration date is assigned to it, a cookie expires at the end of the session, when you exit the browser. A cookie that expires at end of session is called a session cookie.
The cookie preferences give you control of Opera's cookie handling. The default setting is to accept all cookies.
- Accept cookies
- All cookies are accepted (default)
- Accept cookies only from the site I visit
- Third-party cookies, for a domain outside the one you are visiting, are refused
- Never accept cookies
- All cookies are refused
Delete new cookies when exiting Opera
Some websites require you to accept cookies to use their services. If you want these sites to work, but you do not want to keep cookies between visits, select "Delete new cookies when exiting Opera".
Ask me before accepting cookies
If you select "Ask me before accepting cookies", the cookie dialog opens every time a cookie is offered, with information about the cookie's origin and attributes.
The cookie manager permits you to inspect and edit the cookies saved by Opera. Press the button marked "Manage Cookies" to reveal a set of folders, each identified with a domain. Use the quick find field to search by domain name, and open the relevant folder to get detailed information about all cookies connected with that domain.
The cookie dialog
The cookie dialog opens every time a website offers you a cookie, if you have checked the box marked "Ask me before accepting cookies" in. The dialog describes the cookie's origin and attributes, and gives you the opportunity to accept or reject it.
Force deletion when exiting Opera
To change the expiration of the cookie to end of session, select "Force deletion when exiting Opera".
Remember my choice for all cookies for this domain
If you want to accept or reject all cookies with the same domain, select "Remember my choice for all cookies for this domain". The next time a cookie is offered for this domain, the cookie dialog will not appear.
Cookie attributes are available under the heading "Cookie Details".
Do not ask me about cookies again
If you prefer not to see the cookie dialog, select "Do not ask me about cookies again". Checking this box is equivalent to unchecking the box marked "Ask me before accepting cookies" in the cookie preferences.
Site-specific cookie preferences
Site-specific cookie preferences may be set by right-clicking the page you are visiting, selecting "Edit Site Preferences" from the menu, and activating the cookie tab. The options are the same as described above for the general cookie preferences.