computer cookies

computer cookiesThere are a lot of facts about cookies.

For instance, they are delicious, sugary treats….. oh wait. This is for Tech Tip Tuesday, not a cooking blog.

In relation to your internet needs, a cookie is a series of text strings that store information about you and the website you’re accessing – it comes from the website you visit, stays on your computer and the next time you visit that website, the server asks to see that information. It’s very much like the hand stamp at a club or event that allows you to get back in, for one example.

Cookies are not harmful by themselves. They simply allow your computer to work with websites easily and make the web more user friendly. They are not viruses, or programs. The problems with cookies are that they are machine specific, and that they can store a lot of identifying information related to things you click on and things you buy. This information can be resold based on the website’s privacy policy. There are also providers that can create cookies that are visible on multiple sites. Have you ever purchased something and seen an ad for that very thing later on another website? That is most likely due to cookies. Think of it as signing up for a coupon at a store, and then getting all the junk mail this store can send you.

Things you can do to inform and protect yourself:

  • Read website’s privacy policies. That way you know what the site will do with the data it stores.
  • Visit only reputable sites.
  • Review your cookie list for issues. Cookies are easily reviewed in your browser. The location is dependent on your browser and operating system. And yes, your mobile device also has cookies.
  • If you’re sharing your computer or device, use a protected mode in your browser or clear out your cookies.

If you need assistance locating your cookies or clearing them out, let us know, Contact CTTS today at (512) 388-5559

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By Jamie Myers
Senior Desktop Engineer
Central Texas Technology Solutions