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What are cookies, and do I want them on my computer?

Question: What are cookies, and do I want them on my computer?

Answer: Cookies are small text files that servers place on your computer when you visit their websites. They authenticate track and store user information. This is made evident when you return to a website and it remembers who you are and what you were doing there. This can make internet use more convenient by remembering login information, items in a shopping cart or personalized web pages. However, cookies raise concerns about internet privacy. Cookies do track usage and collect user information. This has caused close scrutiny of cookies by governing bodies. Because cookies collect information, they can be used to create profiles of your use. While in most cases theses are anonymous, if a user is careless, personal information could be added. Default settings in computers will usually only allow cookies that have privacy policies in place. Cookies are not programs and do not perform any type of operation, they simply gather data. Cookies are easily removed from a computer if you have concerns.

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