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What are Cookies?
A cookie is a piece of text that a web server can store on a user’s hard disk. Cookies allow a web site to store information on a user’s machine and later retrieve it.
For example, I have visited website.com, and the site has placed a cookie on my machine. The cookie file for goto.com contains the following information:
UserID A9A3BECE0563982D www.website.com/
What website.com has done is stored on my machine a single name-value pair. The name of the pair is UserID, and the value is A9A3BECE0563982D. The first time I visited website.com, the site assigned me a unique ID value and stored it on my machine. The vast majority of sites store just one piece of information — a user ID — on your machine. But there really is no limit — a site can store as many name-value pairs as it likes.
A name-value pair is simply a named piece of data. It is not a program, and it cannot “do” anything. A web site can retrieve only the information that it has placed on your machine. It cannot retrieve information from other cookie files, nor any other information from your machine.
Is it harmful for me?
Let’s say that you use a public machine to purchase something from an on-line store. The store will leave a cookie on the machine, and someone could later try to purchase something from the store using your account. However,On something like a Windows NT machine or a UNIX machine that uses accounts properly, this is not a problem. The accounts separate all of the users’ cookies.
Let’s say that you purchase something from an online company. The company has your name, address and phone number from your order, and it also knows what items you have purchased. It can sell your information to others who might want to sell similar products to you. That is the fuel that makes telemarketing and junk mail possible.
How can I get rid of a Cookie?
When you are using a public computer it in your best wishes to get rid of the cookie before leaving the computer. As it can be used for malicious purposes. It can be used for identity theft, and even hacking your email account or other similar things.
So you can use various methods to remove the cookies from the used computer. The best way is to use Ccleaner, it is a free tool which removes all the cookies and also other temporary files with the click of a button. You can simply download the software and install it to run.
There may be possibilities in certain Cybercafe cafes or Cyberhuts which doesn’t give you administrative privileges in their computers. In that case you will have to remove the cookies manually. It is a simple process. If you re using Mozilla Firefox Go to>>Tools>>Options>>Privacy. There you will get the option to clear recent browsing history. Alternatively you can press Ctrl+Shift+Del to do the same.
If you are using Google Chrome you can press Ctrl+H and delete the history from there along with the cookies. In case of Internet Explorer Go to>>Tools >.Internet Options >> General. In there you will find the option to delete the browsing history.
If you are using your computer from home you would also be interested in how to increase the speed of your internet and keep your computer safe which was posted by us before. To read the post Click Here.
Published on May 3, 2010
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