At Vu, we’re here to help break down the technical jargon into simple, understandable chunks.
Whenever you go to a website online, your computer will store the site locally for future visits. If the site is already stored on your computer, in your ‘web cache’, then your computer doesn’t need to go and redownload the site again when you next visit it – because you already have it!
Web caching is extremely useful for reducing loading times but sometimes, if the site has changed, you might need to clear your cache to see the latest updates to the site, as your web-browser might well be showing the older, ‘cached’ version instead.
Depending on your computer and browser, the way to clear your cache will be different. A simple, step-by-step guide for learning how to do this on your own device can be found here: http://www.refreshyourcache.com/
There are a couple types of cookies: ‘session cookies’, which collect all of the required information, but then are deleted once you leave the site, and ‘persistent cookies’, which remain active until the duration period set within the cookie expires. Most sites use persistent cookies so that when you next log back into their site after closing your browser everything will be exactly as you left it.
Cookies can be misinterpreted by people as being ‘bad’ or a privacy scare – but there’s nothing to worry about, they’re there to make sure you’re who you claim to be and not someone who’s got a copy of your password. Cookies have lots of unique ID’s assigned to each one, which helps the website to recognise who’s using it and pick up the settings according to their cookie.
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