All about Cookies
What is a cookie?
Cookies are often indispensable for websites that have huge databases, need logins, have customizable themes, other advanced features.
Cookies usually don't contain much information except for the url of the website that created the cookie, the duration of the cookie's abilities and effects, and a random number. Due to the little amount of information a cookie contains, it usually cannot be used to reveal your identity or personally identifying information.However, marketing is becoming increasingly sophisticated and cookies in some cases can be agressively used to create a profile of your surfing habits.
There are two types of cookies: session cookies and persistent cookies. Session cookies are created temporarily in your browser's subfolder while you are visiting a website. Once you leave the site, the session cookie is deleted. On the other hand, persistent cookie files remain in your browser's subfolder and are activated again once you visit the website that created that particular cookie. A persistent cookie remains in the browser's subfolder for the duration period set within the cookie's file.
More on Cookies
- Is there any more to cookies than that? No. They are simply text strings. On my machine there is a directory called c:\windows\cookies that contains all of the cookies. They are little text files -- you can open them up and see the strings that are being saved.
- Are cookies harmful? No. They are just short text strings, and they can often make browsing better by allowing a server to recall any customized information you have set.
- Are cookies common? Yes. There are over 500 separate cookies on my hard disk.
- Can cookies transmit computer viruses? No. They are just text strings.