What is a cookie ?

A cookie (also called http cookie, web cookie or browser cookie) is a small piece of data sent by a website to a web browser and stored locally on the visitor’s computer or electronic device where this web browser software is running.

On each “click” on a link or when later visiting the same website, the browser will send back this information to the server. This information essentially allows the website to “recognize” a returning visitor and offer him/her a much richer experience by:

  • storing his/her preferences (in terms of language or country)
  • avoiding the need to reenter username and password

This is also, for example, how a shopping website remembers what you put in your virtual cart. A single website can make use of multiple cookies for different usage.

Type of cookies

Cookies can be stored for an extended period of time (from 1 hour to many years) or can be destroyed when the browser is closed. The former are called “persistent cookies”, the latter are referred to as “session cookies”.

Sessions cookies are usually needed for technical purpose. Disallowing them may, in some cases, prevent the correct behavior of a website.

Risks of cookies

Cookies are generally harmless for a computer. It is however impossible to exclude all risks. For instance:

  • If someone is able to steal the content of a cookie, it may be possible to fool a website in believing he actually is somebody else. It is of course primarily an issue for shopping or transactional website.
  • Some cookies called “third party cookies” could be used to track the activity of users on the web

Controlling cookies

Web browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Chrome) usually offer a set of configuration allowing the visitor to determine if and what kind of cookies they want to accept. Usually an exception list can be defined with website you want to block/authorize.

It should be taken into account that blocking all cookies will usually degrade the overall visitor experience when visiting websites.

Cookies on Petercam’s website

Petercam’s website may, for technical reason, make use of session cookies. Persistent cookies would only be used If you explicitly allow the use of them. These persistent cookies are detailed in the table below:

CookieNamePurpose(s)Content
Cookies allowedcookies_allowedWe require your permission to use functional cookies to save your preferences for your next visits.A parameter indicating that you have allowed cookies.
Market Language Preferencepreferred_language

This cookie stores the country and language preferences selected by the visitor.

It allows the website to skip the country/language selection page during the next visits.
A combination of country and language
Login Remember Me (to access sell-side reports)PHP session cookie

This cookie stores an authentication information to provide access to the sell-side restricted section.

It is set when the visitor check the “keep me logged in” checkbox.

It has a lifetime of 60 days after which it will be discarded by the browser and the visitor will have to authenticate again

A unique “session identifier” understood only by the website.

Your username and password will never be stored in a cookie.

Institutional Investorpetercam_prefix

This cookie stores an information to identify the visitor investor status (private investor, institutional investor or other stakeholder) and language preferences selected by the visitor.

It is similar to the “Market Language” cookie.
Private Investor, Institutional investor or other stakeholder.
Google Analytics (visits tracking)_utmz

This cookie stores information allow us to understand how visitors navigate through the website in an attempt to improve their global experience.

It is based on a google software called “Google Analytics”.

You can selectively disable that feature (while still allowing persistent cookies to store your preferences) by visiting http://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout.
Search engine, search keyword, hyperlink through which visitor accesses to the Website.

More information about cookies

Wikipedia provides an excellent explanation about cookies:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTTP_cookie

http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cookie_(informatique)

http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cookie_(internet)