What are cookies?
- Cookies are simple text files. They are needed to help navigate automatic logins, password authentication, shopping cart functions, personal preference settings and a variety of other functions. Cookies make these functions smooth and hassle-free to the user.
- Cookies don’t search your computer for information. Cookies register the information you provide through your browser. When you enter personal and/or financial information on a website, the cookies store your information, both for ease of use on your next visit, and for ad tracking.
- Information stored by cookies is usually encoded; it is protected from potential computer hackers by security features (which you, the website owner, have put into place.)
- Cookies are necessary and enhance your browsing experience. Without cookies, you would have to reenter all of your information every time you revisited a site. A cookie will simply remember your information on the website to save you time.
- Cookies only store the information you provide. A cookie cannot “grab” your email address. A cookie can store your email address on the website—if you have typed in your email address; a cookie stores all information you voluntarily give when you visit a website.
- Cookies themselves contain very little information other than the URL of the website that created the cookie. Because there is so little information, a cookie can’t be used to identify you by name or other personal information. However, advances in technology have seen an increase in how companies can manipulate cookie information to create a profile of your web surfing habits. Again, this is a profile of a particular consumer’s surfing habits and product preferences, there is no name (your name) attached to the profile.
- Cookies are harmless. They cannot introduce viruses on your computer.
- Cookies are not the same thing as Spyware. A cookie stores your website surfing information; Spyware stores your Internet surfing information (every site you visit).