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Under "preferences" in a web browser, would you select to allow cookies or to block them? What are they even, what's there purpose? Do they take up space? Should you regularly empty out your cookies? ...I really don't understand the whole cookie thing, and I fell like it's a large gap in my internet knowledge, and I couldn't think of a better person(s) to ask them the lockergnome community :) Thanks in advance for you answers, I'm sure I will appreciate it :)

asked Aug 27 '10 at 02:23

Phoenix7's gravatar image


edited Aug 27 '10 at 11:35

I allow cookies whenever I'm browsing.

Basically, a cookie is a way for a website to save some information on your computer so it can receive it later.

Sites can use cookies to track if your logged in or store other user preferences. Such as a website that will allow you to change it's theme can save a cookie on your computer so the next time you visit it will know which theme to display.

Generally cookies are safe, but there are harmful cookie out there so make sure to install some anti-spyware and anti-virus software to keep you safe.

There's no harm in deleting cookies, though you might have to log back in to some websites. Over a long period of time they can build up, but they don't really take up much room.

answered Aug 27 '10 at 15:37

Foxumon's gravatar image


Source Wikipedia

"A cookie, also known as a web cookie, browser cookie, and HTTP cookie, is a piece of text stored by a user's web browser. A cookie can be used for authentication, storing site preferences, shopping cart contents, the identifier for a server-based session, or anything else that can be accomplished through storing text data.

A cookie consists of one or more name-value pairs containing bits of information, which may be encrypted for information privacy and data security purposes. The cookie is sent as an HTTP header by a web server to a web browser and then sent back unchanged by the browser each time it accesses that server.

Cookies, as with a cache, can be cleared to restore file storage space. If not manually deleted by the user, cookies usually have an expiration date associated with them (established by the server that set it). Once that date has passed, the cookies stored by the client will automatically be deleted.

As text, cookies are not executable. Because they are not executed, they cannot replicate themselves and are not viruses. However, due to the browser mechanism to set and read cookies, they can be used as spyware. Anti-spyware products may warn users about some cookies because cookies can be used to track people—a privacy concern, later causing possible malware.

Most modern browsers allow users to decide whether to accept cookies, and the time frame to keep them, but rejecting cookies makes some websites unusable."

answered Aug 27 '10 at 02:28

Lestat611's gravatar image


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Asked: Aug 27 '10 at 02:23

Seen: 2,169 times

Last updated: Aug 27 '10 at 15:37