Background

Cookies are small text strings that a website can store at and retrieve from your browser. Because the HTTP protocol, on which the web is based, is stateless, this is helpful to store your preferences for that site or to store an identifier for you, so the site can recognize you when you request the next page. The lifespan of a cookie (i.e. when it will be deleted by the browser) can be chosen by the website.

There are many legal applications for cookies. For example, many shopping stores use cookies to track your visit and remember, what you selected for buying (the "cart"). These stores just won't work, if you don't enable cookies. Another site might remember your color preference. Yet another site might log you in automatically.

On the other hand, many sites use cookies to track you around the web (on many partner websites and for months) and collect data about your "digital identity".

Solution

Session cookies is a feature, where the browser ignores the cookie lifespan that the site requested. The cookies will be forgotten as soon as e.g. the browser is shut-down.

This allows that all websites work as before, just that they cannot recognize you when you revisit them the other day (assuming you closed the browser overnight :-) ). No website can create an extensive personal profile for you and sell your personal preferences (at least not using cookies - if you reveal your identity yourself, that's up to you).

On the other hand, for some selected sites, e.g. your webmail provider, it is desired that they recognize you. For most of these sites, you create a user account anyway and you have to log in. Beonex Communicator can remember your passwords in web forms (a dialog box will appear after you entered the password and clicked OK/Submit) and automatically fill them out for you the next time you visit that page. This means that logging in to a site is as easy as pressing the OK/Submit button of the form.

In order to protect your privacy, session cookies are enabled by default in Beonex Communicator. If you want to disable this feature, go to Edit|Preferences|Privacy and Security|Cookies and uncheck Limit maximum lifetime of cookies.

Problems

Selected "trusted" sites

There is no easy way yet to allow selected sites to store cookies permanently. This might be useful e.g. when

There is a workaround:

  1. Disable Session Cookies
  2. Visit the selected websites, which you want to remember you, and make the necessary adjustments. Visit no other sites.
  3. Re-Enable Session Cookies
  4. Press the View Stores Cookies button in the same Preferences dialog box and make sure that only the wanted sites appear. Delete unwanted cookies (especially from sites you don't know), if necessary.

Old cookies

If you had session cookies disabled for some time (see above), use the Cookie Manager (Tools|Cookie Manager|Manage Stored Cookies) to remove all unwanted cookies. If in doubt, just delete them.