What’s a cookie? Should I accept it or reject it?

Do you remember the first time you were offered a cookie from a website? If you were new to the Internet it was a surprise. A website wanted to put a cookie on your computer.

So, coming to the question, What is Cookie?

Cookies are small pieces of information gathered from you and/or your computer by a web server and stored in your computer, ready for future access by the server or website. Cookies are embedded in the HTML information flowing back and forth between your computer and the websites and servers.

Some sites never asked to give you a cookie… Other sites required your acceptance of cookies to get information, read articles or look through their products or get their free downloads.

So cookies are, “Cookies are a general mechanism which server-side connections (such as CGI scripts) can use to both store and retrieve information on the client side of the connection.”

Most cookies are set once and then go away when you turn off your browser. The other type of cookie, the persistent cookie, is set and remains on your hard drive until either your space for cookies is full or the time stamp on it expires.

A site has access to any information you provide (including information like your IP address, browser type, and the page that referred you to their site, as well as forms you fill out) without using any cookies at all. So, it’s more important to know the privacy policies of a site than to worry about whether they use cookies.

What’s The Purpose of Cookies?

They allow user-side customization of web information. For example, cookies are used to personalize websites. They allow you to participate in surveys and contests… And, make sure you participate only once… And to store shopping lists of items you have selected while browsing through a list of products or a virtual shopping mall.

Some sites require YOU to accept cookies to access their information, tips, or articles from their website. Cookies make use of specific information you prefer. That specific information is transmitted by your web server into your computer cookie file so the information is available for later access by itself and other servers.

In most cases, not only does the storage of personal information in your cookie file go unnoticed but so does access to it. Web servers automatically gain access to relevant cookies whenever you establish a connection to them.

Stages in Cookies :

Cookies are based on a two-stage process. First, the cookie is stored in your computer sometimes without your consent or knowledge. But… On today’s Modern browsers, you can go to preferences, and set your browser to alert you before accepting a cookie. On Internet Explorer follow the Tools/Internet Options/Security menu to set cookie preferences. It’s your choice.

For example… Some web pages are customizable so you can select categories of interest to you from the web page. The web server then creates a cookie that is a string of text containing your preferences and puts this small cookie text file in your computer.

If your web browser is set to receive cookies… the cookie text is stored on your computer in a file called a cookie file. This happens without your consent unless you have set your browser to notify you before accepting a cookie and before it is stored on your computer.

Would you like to see your cookie file?

On a Mac, you can do a find for ‘magiccookie’ on your hard drive… On Windows do a find for ‘cookies.txt’ on your hard drive. Each cookie file is a small text file. After you find the file you can open it by double-clicking it. Looking at the files doesn’t tell you much unless you get deeper into writing and setting cookies.

Remember… a site only knows what information you’ve entered and your browser type and ISP. Cookies are neither good nor bad, they can provide convenience for you and do serve useful functions on the web.

You CAN delete the entire cookies file on your computer if cookies concern you. Just find the file and delete it. Then set your browser preferences to NOT accept cookies.

Want to read more about cookies: below link may provide you all detailed information about What are Cookies, Is it accepted or not and many more

Click here For the Mozilla Firefox browser

“I’ve always accepted cookies and have noticed no bad effects. So my personal preference is to continue accepting them,”

Should I accept it or reject it?

Maybe… Now It’s Your Choice!