What is a cookie?


A cookie is information that a website puts on your hard disk so that it can remember something about you at a later time. (More technically, it is information for future use that is stored by the server on the client side of a client/server communication.) Typically, a cookie records your preferences when using a particular site. Using the web’s Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), each request for a web page is independent of all other requests. For this reason, the web page server has no memory of what pages it has sent to a user previously or anything about your previous visits. A cookie is a mechanism that allows the server to store its own information about a user on the user’s own computer. You can view the cookies that have been stored on your hard disk (although the content stored in each cookie may not make much sense to you). The location of the cookies depends on the browser you use. Internet Explorer stores each cookie as a separate file under a Windows subdirectory. Netscape stores all cookies in a single cookies.txt file. Opera stores them in a single cookies.dat file. Cookies are commonly used to rotate the banner ads that a site sends. It is a debatable subject whether cookies are good or bad. For the most part, they are innocuous, but it doesn’t hurt to delete them either. If you disable cookies, some websites will not function correctly. Those people concerned with having complete security and privacy will probably disable cookies and delete all of them from their computer.

For more information about cookies along with our usage of cookies, visit: http://support.nckcn.com/online-guides/cookies-policy/.


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Michael Draemel is the Internet Application Technology Coordinator (IATC) for NCKCN. For more information about Michael, visit: Michael's Profile page.