Cookie notification

Have you ever wondered why some websites require you to accept cookies? Do you know if such notification should be displayed on your website? Perhaps you're aware that your site should have a cookie notification, but you haven't gotten around to putting one up.

In this article, I'll teach you how to determine whether you need to display a cookie notification, what the cookie notice should say, and how to add a cookie notice to your site.

However, before we get into the specifics, let's set the scene. What is the aim of these consent notices and why do they exist?

What is a Cookie Notification?

Cookies are little text files that your computer saves on its hard drive. These are sent to your computer when you visit a website, and your computer saves them in a file in your web browser. Cookies are data storage devices that come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Some programs assist you in keeping track of your login information and storing passwords for frequently visited websites. Others keep track of how much time you spend on a website or the things in your online shopping cart.

Cookies are beneficial to both businesses and users. Businesses can use a cookie alert for re-targeting advertising and analytics to reach out to potential customers, convert transactions, and gain a better understanding of their website's performance.

The users gain from a better browsing experience. Things in your shopping basket are remembered, thanks to cookies. The webpage is shown optimally based on the individual's computer and browser settings, and you don't have to log in to every website you visit regularly unless you want to. Not everyone, however, likes cookies.

Many individuals consider cookies to be intrusive to privacy because they follow your surfing behavior and are so small. As a result, laws have been enacted to protect user privacy and to impose certain disclosures and other obligations on firms that use cookies.

In the past, websites could set a cookie alert whenever they wanted. However, before a website can store cookies on a user's device, both cookie notification and consent are now necessary.

Types of Cookies

The session, persistent, and third-party cookies are the three categories of computer cookies. These nearly imperceptible text files are all unique. These cookies, each with their own goal, are designed to track, gather, and keep whatever data that businesses want.

∙ Session Cookies

Session cookies, often known as temporary cookies,' help websites recognize users and the information they provide when visiting a page. Session cookies simply keep track of a user's activity for the duration of their visit to the website. When you close your web browser, cookies are deleted. These are typically found on e-commerce or shopping websites.

∙ Permanent Cookies

Permanent cookies, also known as 'persistent cookies,' are stored on your computer after you close your browser. They can remember login information and passwords, for example, so that online users don't have to re-enter them every time they visit a site. Permanent cookies must be erased after 12 months, according to the law.

∙ Third-party Cookies

Third-party cookies are used by third parties to collect information from site users in order to conduct research on topics such as behavior, demography, and spending habits. Advertisers who want to ensure that their products and services are offered to the proper target group frequently employ them.

What is the Meaning of a Cookie Alert?

Cookie notification

Image is taken from Strikingly user’s website

A cookie alert is a message that appears on a user's initial visit to a website and tells them about the cookies and trackers that the site employs, as well as asking for their permission to store cookies on their devices.

Websites commonly utilized a cookie notification-only cookie alert that notified users about cookie usage but did not seek permission to load cookies on their devices before data privacy rules were enacted.

What is the Cookie Law?

The Cookie Law was enacted as a result of revisions to the EU e-Privacy Directive of 2003, which mandates that websites obtain user consent before using tracking technology, the most prevalent of which being cookies.

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has written a comprehensive guide for webmasters on how to comply with the law. According to the British Information Commissioner's Office, UK-based websites that do not comply with the rules might face fines of up to £500,000.

Is it Necessary to Have a Cookie Policy?

Cookie notification

Image is taken from Strikingly user’s website

If your website is hosted in the European Union (EU), or if a person from the EU may interact with it, you must comply with the legislation and have a Cookie Policy. The law of GDPR ( General Data Protection Regulation) went into force in May 2018. This law safeguards EU citizens' right to preserve control over their personal data.

It's crucial to remember that a Cookie Policy isn't just for companies in the EU. Any website that receives traffic from users in an EU member state must likewise have this policy. The rules governing cookies state unequivocally that a user must take action that clearly demonstrates accepting cookies.

Consent can be given in a variety of ways, like responding to an email or clicking an opt-in button on a website. You can warn people that your website uses cookies by using a cookie notification (such as a banner in the header or footer of your website, or cookies popup). This message may provide a link to your Cookie Policy.

Here's what you'll need to do to comply with the GDPR:

1. Explain how and why cookies are used to site visitors.

2. Before utilizing any non-essential cookies, get the users' permission.

3. Keep a record of the consent you've got.

4. Allow visitors to access your material even if they don't want certain cookies to be used.

5. Allow visitors to withdraw their consent if they so desire (switch off previously activated cookies).

What Should Your Cookie Notification Contain?

Cookie notification pupitre

Image is taken from Strikingly user’s website

What you put in your cookie banner is a legal decision that should be made based on your specific company needs and how you employ cookies on your site. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for your cookie banner or the settings you should use, but here's what is used and recommended the most:

1. Cookie Usage Explanation

Write your own brief statement about how and why you utilize cookies on your site. If it matches your brand, I recommend keeping it basic, brief, and light-hearted (we're all tired of reading these things, so a little diversity and humor are welcome!).

2. Link to Your Cookie Policy

Link to a larger, more thorough cookie policy in your website's privacy policy in your quick explanation.

3. Choose a Consent Message

Choose a type of consent (text link, button, or X icon) and, if appropriate, include wording that corresponds to your explanation (for example, “Cool, I accept!”); Remember that the button/close icon indicates that you have given your approval.

4. Disable Squarespace Analytics Cookies

To stay GDPR-compliant, tick “Disable Squarespace Analytics Cookies” in your Cookie & Visitor Data Settings to disable them for any visitor who does not grant consent.

5. Decide How You Wish to Use Your Activity Log

Because this information is only kept for seven days, many people are unconcerned. Choose whether to disable it (to comply with GDPR) or keep it enabled for your own site (to receive better analytics).

Add Cookie Notification On Strikingly Websites

It's critical to ensure that your website complies with the most recent data privacy legislation. GDPR compliance may be enabled on Strikingly-powered websites in a few simple steps. All forms on your website will have a checkbox requesting users to grant their consent before submission once GDPR is enabled. You get a free privacy policy for your website that you can adapt without worrying about the legalese.

Adding a privacy policy and terms of service to your page is another approach to comply with data privacy rules. A website privacy policy template can be found on a variety of websites.

Once you've finalized the language, go to the Settings page on your Strikingly website and add your policy statement.

Strikingly cookie notification

Image is taken from Strikingly

  • In [SETTINGS] > [SHOW ADVANCED] > [PRIVACY & LEGAL], you can choose to show a cookie notification.
  • In Settings, your visitors can choose to accept cookies or select certain cookies. Necessary Cookies, Analytics Cookies, and Preferences Cookies are the three categories of cookies used on this site.
  • The page view statistics you see on the Analytics page may be lower than the real numbers if a visitor rejects Analytics cookies.
  • If you included an “App Store & HTML” area on your website, those third-party cookies are outside our control; you may need to remove the third-party app to comply with EU cookie law. Your Site Language selection determines the language of the cookie policy. This option can be found under [SETTINGS] > [BASIC INFO] > [SITE LANGUAGE].

Final Thoughts

Users can offer their informed consent for the use of cookies on your website, therefore you can comply with the cookies regulation by implementing any kind of design feature that matches your website. Just make sure your notification is well-designed and easy to notice.

Include a link to where users may learn more about the specific cookies that your website stores in your cookies notification, either in your Privacy Policy or in a separate Cookies Policy. The notification must appear on all pages of your website for new visitors. You must still display the cookie notification if a new user arrives on a specific land page rather than your homepage, such as via Google search results.