Today, we’re going to look at how to do it.
How do I find out what cookies my site is using?
There are free online tools that allow you to enter your URL and get an audit of your website emailed to you, detailing the cookies being used and whether prior consent is enabled. Overall, we’ve found these tools a bit hit and miss. Often, although they’re free, they’re designed to be a taster for a premium product, so don’t be surprised to get a response along the lines of “your site could be better, and you’ll have to pay to find out why!”
A quick and easy solution is CookieServe.com, which will tell you the cookies used on any site without you needing to sign up to anything. A more detailed answer can be gained from a bit of manual work and help from Google Chrome, with a guide on how to go about this available here.
The policies themselves are quite long, dry and formulaic, so it’s easy to be put off integrating what you’ve learned about your cookies into your site. There are templates around that can help you though, such as this one from SEQ Legal.
Take a look at cookie policies on other sites too. You shouldn’t simply copy and paste them, but they should give you an idea of the structure required.
Above is an example of one I saw this morning while reading the aforementioned Business Insider article about how many people agree to policies without reading them. Of course, I agreed to this one without reading it, but whether I read it or not is irrelevant – the pop-up is telling me what the site is doing and directing me to further information should I wish to read it.
You can be a bit more creative with your pop-up than you can with the much terser policy itself. Some pop-ups allow the user to choose between “all cookies”, “recommended cookies”, “minimum cookies” etc. If design isn’t your forte, Cookie-script.com is a free tool that can help you create one.