Computer Cookies: The Browser Food

What are Cookies?

Cookies are small text files that are automatically downloaded to your computer when visiting many webpages. Cookies are not executable files, but can be read by the webpage that placed the cookie on your computer. A webpage may place more than one cookie on your computer. Cookies can store varying information about you and your visit to that particular website.

Are Cookies dangerous?

Since Cookies store information about you and your browsing habits, your privacy is in jeopardy when your browser accepts Cookies. Most Cookies are harmless. While others tend to be a little nosey. Usually advertising companies place Cookies on your computer when you view one of their ads. If you didn’t click on it, odds are they will store that in a Cookie and not display that to you again. Instead they will display another ad. Or if you clicked on the advertisement, to display another one along the same theme. To some this can be great since they only see ads that interest them. To other this can be an invasion to privacy.

Can I Disable Cookies?

Sure you can. Most modern browsers allow you to disable Cookies. However, doing so will have consequences. Since websites use Cookies to store details about your account. It may store your login details in a cookie so you don’t have to login each visit. Some webmasters use Coolies to store display settings. So disabling Cookies would not allow you to save any of that information and you would have to select it each time you visit that website. So it’s really up to the end user whether to accept Cookies. In some browsers, including Internet Explorer, you can actually set it to prompt you before you accept a Cookie. Although this can be a tiresome task if you visit a lot of webpages. In the end it’s up to you.

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