Paul J. Siegenthaler
which is a useful input to make improvements to the website's design and the relevance of its content.
You can adjust the
way your browser manages cookies. The information displayed below (source : www.allaboutcookies.org) explains more about the types
of cookies used on internet sites and their role, we well as how to adjust the settings of your browser if you wish to limit or exclude
What are cookies in computers?
Also known as browser cookies or tracking cookies, cookies are small, often encrypted text
files, located in browser directories. They are used by web developers to help users navigate their websites efficiently and perform
certain functions. Due to their core role of enhancing/enabling usability or site processes, disabling cookies may prevent users from
using certain websites.
Cookies are created when a user's browser loads a particular website. The website sends information to the
browser which then creates a text file. Every time the user goes back to the same website, the browser retrieves and sends this file
to the website's server. Computer Cookies are created not just by the website the user is browsing but also by other websites that
run ads, widgets, or other elements on the page being loaded. These cookies regulate how the ads appear or how the widgets and other
elements function on the page.
Standard uses for browser cookies
Website servers set cookies to help authenticate the user if
the user logs in to a secure area of the website. Login information is stored in a cookie so the user can enter and leave the website
without having to re-enter the same authentication information over and over. Session Cookies are also used by the server to store
information about user page activities so users can easily pick up where they left off on the server's pages. By default, web pages
really don't have any 'memory'. Cookies tell the server what pages to show the user so the user doesn't have to remember or start
navigating the site all over again. Cookies act as a sort of bookmark within the site. Similarly, cookies can store ordering information
needed to make shopping carts work instead of forcing the user to remember all the items the user put in the shopping cart.
or tracking Cookies are also employed to store user preferences. Many websites allow the user to customize how information is presented
through site layouts or themes. These changes make the site easier to navigate and/or lets user leave a part of the user's personality
at the site.
Cookie security and privacy issues
Cookies are NOT viruses. Cookies use a plain text format. They are not compiled
pieces of code so they cannot be executed nor are they self-executing. Accordingly, they cannot make copies of themselves and spread
to other networks to execute and replicate again. Since they cannot perform these functions, they fall outside the standard virus
Cookies CAN be used for malicious purposes though. Since they store information about a user's browsing preferences and
history, both on a specific site and browsing among several sites, cookies can be used to act as a form of spyware. Many anti-spyware
products are well aware of this problem and routinely flag cookies as candidates for deletion after standard virus and/or spyware
scans. See here for some privacy issues and concerns.
The way responsible and ethical web developers deal with privacy issues caused
by cookie tracking is by including clear descriptions of how cookies are deployed on their site. If you are a web developer and need
services. These privacy policies should explain what kind of information is collected and how the information is used.
browsers have built in privacy settings that provide differing levels of cookie acceptance, expiration time, and disposal after a
user has visited a particular site. Backing up your computer can give you the peace of mind that your files are safe.
Click on the
link for your browser below to get information on how to prevent cookies from being created on your particular browser.