Computer TipsTech Q & A

What is a Cookie And How They Work, Are Cookies Enabled in my Browser?


Cookies are files left on your computer by websites to remember specific information. When a user goes back to a site in the future, the cookie (special file) can be opened to retrieve the saved information. This is one way sites can allow you to have a customized startup page on their site.Cookie


Because of cookies, websites can have thousands or even millions of users and still remember each user’s settings and choices because they are saved on the user’s computer rather than on the web server.

The European Union just recently enacted a law that requires websites to request permission before they can save cookies on users’ computers. This law goes into effect this month.

If you don’t want cookies on your computer you can delete them. You can also set up your browser to not allow cookies to be saved.

To delete cookies, choose Tools | Internet Options. On the General tab in the Temporary Internet files section, click the Delete Cookies button.

And they can have several different functions, such as:

1. Keeping track of that user’s browsing data in order to serve up targeted information such as ads for goods, or services.

2. Remembering your login details for a specific website.

3. Cookies can also allow website owners to track exactly how many unique visitors they’re getting to their website. Because each cookie has its own unique ID.

So how does a cookie work?

Well when you visit a website for the first time, for this example let’s say it’s an online store, the website will put a cookie on your computer’s hard drive, that has a unique identification code.

The site then uses this ID to keep track of your “session”.

The reason it does this is so it can keep track of things like which items you’ve saved to your shopping cart, or which items you’ve looked already at so it can suggest similar items, or even save coupon codes for you that can be used even if you close out of the website and come back to it later that day.

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