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What Are Cookies On A Computer And How They Impact Your Internet Browsing

Author : Jesse MKraylen

What are cookies on a computer? A great question that can be important for computer users to know as it may impact their internet browsing and the privacy of their information. A cookie on a computer is any data stored on your computer by your web search engine, this data is stored as text. Cookies are encrypted to help keep data private and safe and may or may not have an expiration date. But computer users may delete cookies through different processes and procedures.

Although computer cookies are generally considered negative, they do have some helpful uses since they store data that you input during your browsing sessions. This can be beneficial and convenient in regards to internet browsing and especially shopping. Many cookies are used to store shopping cart information, site preferences, and information that you manually type in during shopping sessions.

This function can save you from typing all of your personal information everytime you visit the same website, if cookies are available you will usually have a drop down menu that appears as you are typing your information in. Usually this drop-down menu will offer information that you may have typed in before, and you can choose to select it, saving you the hassle of manually entering in your information again. It can also assist you by remembering passwords, payment options, and other information that can be difficult to access or remember.

Cookies were invented back in 1994 and used to be called magic cookies. Internet browsers started being created with cookie technology, but most consumers were not aware of that or the implications that went with it. In 1996 however, a prominent financial magazine brought cookies to the attention of the public and as a result the FTC held hearings in 1996 and 1997 regarding privacy issues and confidentiality concerns that had previously been ignored.

Sometimes cookies can be misused by computer hackers in order to thieve information. This can especially be an issue with use of a computer in a public place because a savvy internet user can possibly later dig up your information. That is why you never want to check boxes that say they will remember your information when browsing on a public website. As you can see, what are cookies on a computer is a great question, one that will need continual watching and review by the government and consumers to make sure our information is kept as safe and secure as possible.

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Submitted : 2011-03-02    Word Count : 870    Times Viewed: 525