Terms & Conditions - General information on sales transactions.
Cookies Policy - A European Union bureaucractic requirement.
Cookies are very simply a small piece of data, that is sent from a website onto a user's website browser. These are in the form of a small text file, and can be used to remember data such as remembering where you were when you last visited the site and what particularly interests you. They can't carry viruses, but can be used to remember site preferences.
As a whole cookies are used to improve the customer user experience of visiting websites, and can be used to remember personal details (name etc.) on your computer, but only after these details are left. From the website owner perspective cookies can be used to present relevant information to users and to track (in the case of Google Analytics by way of example) site visitors habits. From the customer's perspective cookies can eliminate tediously repeating the same information and be treated more personally than an anonymous user.
Internet cookies can be used maliciously, they can collect information surreptitiously, and can be used to bombard visitors with information and changes of computer settings that are not wanted. However, most cookies provide a useful service and can reduce tedium in web visiting. As an example the author appreciates the way sites like Amazon remembers items I looked at and presents similar items on future viewings.
From a technical perspective their are two prime sorts of cookies, namely 'Session' referring to the visit the user is currently on, or 'Persistent' which means memorising data for the next visit. Also cookies may originate from the site visited named 'First Party Cookies' or by another website running content, such as banners on the site visited, hence 'Third Party Cookies'.
Generally cookies enhance the web experience the majority of the time, some can be used maliciously but it is naive to believe that legislation such as the ' EU Cookie Directive' will have any useful effect. Users can control Cookies from their Web Browser (Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome etc.), including blocking all cookies if required.
Visitors should be aware that all popular browsers including Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Google Chrome contain options to switch off cookies. These may be excluded globally, or by permitting individual sites to use their Cookies.