Cookie: definition, benefits, security& step-by-step instructions

You want to know what is a cookie and what are the different types?

In this article I will explain you what cookies are used for and what you should pay attention to from a legal point of view when you receive a cookie notice.

The best: My instructions for WordPress, Joomla and Shopify show you how to install a cookie banner on your websites or online stores.

Plus: Sebastian shows you in his video how to check the functionality of your cookie banner.

What are cookies?

Cookies or also HTTP cookies (German: Kekse or Cookie) are small Text files, which can be stored in the respective browser folder on the end device of a user when visiting a website. In these files information of the site visitors is collected.

Sometimes these are sensitive user data Like:

  • IP addresses
  • E-mail addresses
  • Passwords
  • recently viewed items
  • visited pages and interests
  • data stored in online forms
  • various aspects of the surfing behavior of a website visitor

Cookies are transferred from a web server to the user’s browser or generated locally in the browser by a script like JavaScript.

Structure of cookies

Basically, cookies consist of a name, value and other attributes such as the expiration date or path of the respective Internet domain.

In addition, comments or time restrictions such as limited validity on a port may be included.

Browsers and servers must support the following minimum sizes of a cookie according to RFC 6265:

  • A cookie can consist of at least 4.096 bytes consist.
  • It should be possible to store 50 cookies per domain in any case.
  • In total at least 3.000 Cookies can be saved.

Lifetime of cookies

Some cookies, such as session cookies, are automatically deleted when users close their websites.

Other cookies, in turn, have a Expiration time or an expiration date, due to which they may remain on users’ computers for years.

You now know about the definition of cookies. Let’s take a look at what they are used for.

Why are cookies stored?

Anyone who spends a lot of time on the Internet, either privately or professionally, will probably encounter cookies on a daily basis.

Users of websites can assume that website operators use cookies on all internet pages. You can find them on pages:

  • Where advertising is served or
  • on which interactive functions are offered.

And this is despite the fact that they have neither given consent nor received a notice to that effect.

    Some cookies increase the user experience of a website: Login data or language settings used do not have to be continuously retyped.

You are recognized when you visit the website Amazon.
An online store remembers the items you have placed in the shopping cart.
You stay logged in with your user login on a website.

  • With the help of other cookies, such as marketing or tracking cookies, site operators can Visitor profiles with the respective interests of a user. They are used for personalized advertising and other online marketing activities.

Both visible and invisible cookies are often used to measure people’s behavior on a website.

The Google Analytics cookie is a good example.

Cookie Website Test

With the tool Cookiemetrix you can test up to 10 URLs per day free of charge and find out which and how many cookies are in use on a website.

Let’s now take a look at the different types of cookies.

What are the different types of cookies??

If you’ve ever Googled the term cookies, you’ve probably come across terms like First party cookies, Third party cookies, Affiliate or session cookies.

In principle, cookies are divided into two major groups: technically necessary "good cookies" and technically unnecessary "bad cookies".

Technically necessary cookies

Session cookies

Technically necessary cookies or non-persistent session cookies are indispensable for the functioning of a website. After the end of an Internet session, these First-party cookies automatically deleted from computers, smartphones or tablets.

ExampleA visitor to an online store can add items to his shopping cart without first logging in.

According to the EU Cookie Directive these necessary cookies even without the consent of a user are set.

Technically unnecessary cookies

The cookies listed here are the following Cookies that require consent – Users must therefore be able to activate and deactivate them in their website settings.

Performance cookies

These cookies, as well as the necessary cookies, do not store any personal information of a user such as the IP address.

However Data related to user behavior and surfing patterns Collected on the visited website.

To get answers to the following questions:

  • In which country resp. in which region or city the access took place?
  • Which mouse movements such as scrolling and clicking were performed?
  • Which search terms have led the visitor to the page?
  • How long and how often subpages have been accessed?
  • In which order the pages have been visited?

Function cookies

Functional cookies store data such as language selection or user name. The information obtained is anonymous and is used to improve personalized features.

Statistics cookies

In order for website owners to understand how their users interact with their website, information is collected anonymously using various statistical cookies. The best known statistic tool is probably Google Analytics.

Marketing Cookies

Marketing or tracking cookies, such as those used by Google Ads, track website users and store information such as user interests.

The goal: With the help of the data, relevant and tailored advertisements and offers can be displayed to the user.

How do cookies work?

The two known options to transfer, assign and evaluate cookies through a website are:

  • A server’s web page is requested by a user’s browser via an HTTP request or response: The transmission of the cookie data takes place in the header.
  • Using a scripting language like JavaScript, cookies can be generated locally. In this case, the script is located in the web page transmitted by the server.


In 2009 the Cookie Directive of the European Union came into force. Website operators and online stores in the European area have since been forced to inform their visitors about the use of cookies.

But not only that: you have to log in using the Opt-in method get active user consent.

In the past, many German websites invoked the German TMG (Telemediengesetz): users had to actively object to the use of cookie tracking, for example.

This Opt-out method Is no longer legally permissible.

This is because a May 2020 ruling by the German Federal Supreme Court leans on a 2019 decision by the European Court of Justice (ECJ): Both rulings say that pre-filled cookie notices do not comply with European law.

Beside the cookie banner you also have to set your Update privacy policyBecause the cookies you use must be mentioned in your privacy policy.

If you want to know how to get consent from your site visitors, read on.

Step-by-step instructions: How to install a cookie banner on your website

Due to the numerous content management and online store systems, we focus on WordPress (including WooCommerce), Joomla and Shopify systems.

All plugins listed by us comply with the current DSVGO and ePrivacy directive.

WordPress and WooCommerce plugin

For WordPress sites as well as WooCommerce online stores, we recommend the paid opt-in plugin Borlabs Cookie 2.2.

Installation for Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox

  • Save the zip file locally on your computer.
  • Then upload it with the WordPress backend: Plugins> Add new> Upload the plugin

Installation for Apple Safari

From experience, the zip file will be automatically unzipped by Safari after downloading.

Proceed as follows:

  • First click on the Borlabs cookie folder and select "Compress Borlabs cookie".
  • Then upload the file via your WordPress backend: Plugins> Add New> Upload Plugin


The plugin is now located on the left side of your WordPress menu.

  • Go to the plugin settings and open the menu item License.
  • Insert your license key here and click on the save button.

Joomla extension

If you run a Joomla website, it is recommended to use one of these two tools.

CookieHint and Consent

CookieHint and Consent is a free extension that we can recommend to you with a clear conscience.

  • Download the latest plugin version to your computer.
  • Then go to the Joomla backend and click on Extensions> Manage.
  • Now click on the "Select file" button and add the plugin by double-clicking on it.
  • Now activate the plugin by choosing Extensions> Plugins and set the status to active.


The Cookiebot Consent Management Platform (CMP for short) provides you with a tool with different tariffs. The tool can generate 2 scripts for you to implement on your website afterwards.

Shopify app

GDPR Legal Cookie is a paid app from Beeclever. It guides you through the process of installation.

TipSebastian shows you in his latest video how you can check if your cookie banner is working properly.

Cookie GDPR – Is your cookie banner working properly?? GDPR Cookie Consent Banner Tips – YouTube

Cookie settings: Surf the web and social media safely

In popular browsers like Chrome, Edge or Firefox, users can manage cookies individually: as a user, you can delete accepted cookies or enable and disable cookie collection in the browser settings.

Expert tipIf you are using a public computer while on vacation or visiting an Internet cafe and logging into forums, your bank or your e-mail account, for example, it is recommended that you log out and then close the browser.

I will now show you how to delete your cookies on your computer, tablet or smartphone.

Delete Cokkies

Google Chrome

  • Open a window of your Chrome browser and open the preferences.
  • Click on the right side on the menu item "Privacy and security".
  • First select "Clear browser data" and check "Cookies and other website data".
  • Confirm your selection by clicking on "Delete data".

Mozilla Firefox

  • Open a Firefox browser window and select "Settings".
  • Click on "Privacy&" on the left side Security".
  • Set a checkmark at "Cookies and website data.
  • Confirm your choice by clicking on the clear button.

Microsoft Edge

  • First open a window of your Edge browser and click on settings.
  • Go there to Privacy, Search and Services.
  • Here you are shown several functions like delete browser data.
  • Delete the cookies by clicking the "Select items to delete" button and make your selection.


In this article we have dealt in detail with the topic of cookies. You have found out what the internet cookies are all about and why they are used.

I have explained to you

  • why you have to be informed about the use of cookies,
  • why you can accept or reject them and
  • how you can place a cookie notice on your own website.

Plus: With my step-by-step instructions you can now remove your cookies from your smartphone or computer yourself.

If you still have questions about cookies or would like some professional assistance in creating an up-to-date cookie banner, just contact us. Write an email to This email address is being protected from spambots! JavaScript must be enabled to view! , call us at +43 1 353 2 353 or send us your inquiry via our contact form.

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