Have you ever been in a situation where, when just browsing/ surfing the internet you get this notification? wondering what a Cookie is and what it does?
A cookie is just one or more pieces of information stored as text strings on your machine. A Web server sends you a cookie and the browser stores it. The browser then returns the cookie to the server the next time the page is referenced. The main purpose of a cookie is to identify users and possibly prepare customized Web pages or to save site login information for you.
What Information Does a Cookie Store?
Cookies have six parameters that can be passed to them:
- The name of the cookie.
- The value of the cookie.
- The expiration date of the cookie – this determines how long the cookie will remain active in your browser.
- The path the cookie is valid for – this sets the URL path the cookie us valid in. Web pages outside of that path cannot use the cookie.
- The domain the cookie is valid for. This makes the cookie accessible to pages on any of the servers when a site uses multiple servers in a domain.
- The need for a secure connection – this indicates that the cookie can only be used under a secure server condition, such as a site using SSL.
You may be wondering:
- Is there anymore to cookies than that? No. They are simply text strings. On my machine, there is a directory called c:\windows\cookies that contain all of the cookies. They are little text files — you can open them up and see the strings that are being saved.
- Are cookies harmful? No. They are just short text strings, and they can often make browsing better by allowing a server to recall any customized information you have set.
- Are cookies common? Yes. There are over 500 separate cookies on my hard disk.
- Can cookies transmit computer viruses? No. They are just text strings.
- Can a company read my personal information from my hard disk with a cookie? No. Only the cookie that is sent in the first place is returned to the server. It is not modified or manipulated in any way.
There is a lot to write on Cookies…….