What are cookies? A cookie is a message given to a Web browser by a Web server. The browser stores the message in a text file. The message is then sent back to the server each time the browser requests a page from the server.

The main purpose of cookies is to identify users and possibly prepare customized Web pages for them. When you enter a Web site using cookies, you may be asked to fill out a form providing such information as your name and interests. This information is packaged into a cookie and sent to your Web browser which stores it for later use. The next time you go to the same Web site, your browser will send the cookie to the Web server. The server can use this information to present you with custom Web pages. So, for example, instead of seeing just a generic welcome page you might see a welcome page with your name on it. (webopedia.com definitions: cookies)
Are cookies bad? Cookies do not act maliciously on computer systems. They are merely text files that can be deleted at any time - they are not plug ins nor are they programs. Cookies cannot be used to spread viruses and they cannot access your hard drive. This does not mean that cookies are not relevant to a user’s privacy and anonymity on the Internet. Cookies cannot read your hard drive to find out information about you; however, any personal information that you give to a Web site, including credit card information, will most likely be stored in a cookie unless you have turned off the cookie feature in your browser. In only this way are cookies a threat to privacy. The cookie will only contain information that you freely provide to a Web site. (webopedia.com are cookies malicious?)

How to view / delete cookies

  1. Click on the Tools Menu.
  2. In the Internet Options section of the General Tab click on Temporary Internet Files.
  3. Click on Settings (note - If you click on Delete files, it will delee all Temporary Internet Files EXCEPT cookies.)
  4. Click on View Files. This will open the Temporary Internet Files Folder.
  5. To view the cookie files click on the Type Column (see image below) until you see Text Document under it. This will put all of the cookie files in a list together.
  6. To delete a cookie simply right click on the name of the cookie that you want to delete and select delete from the resulting menu.
  7. Finally click on Yes when you are asked if you are sure that you want to delete the selected cookie(s).</p>
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