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No, not chocolate chip cookies! Let's talk about those Internet cookies that Web sites place on your hard drive. Many people turn off the ability to accept cookies because they don't want them. Some people feel that their privacy is being invaded because they are being tracked. Others don't want precious hard disk space being taken up. Some worry about viruses. Are Internet cookies good or bad?
Remember Me Features
Have you signed up for membership and the next time you visited the site, there was a message on the page that said, "Welcome Back Your Name." That is made possible by a cookie placed on your hard drive.
When you visit forums or bulletin boards, a cookie will remember what messages you have read and what messages you haven't. That is how those "new" graphics appear next to the message that you haven't.
Spying On Your Kids
If you want to check on your child's Internet activity you can check the cookie file on your computer. If a teen is trying to hide what they have been visiting, they often will clear the history file and forget to clear the cookies.
How to Check the History File
How to Check Cookie Files for Netscape, Firefox, or Mozilla
How to Check Cookie Files for Internet Explorer users.
One of the biggest misunderstandings about cookies, is viruses. It is highly unlikely that you could get a virus from a cookie.
More About Viruses and Cookies
Some advertising agencies are using cookies so that you can see targeted advertising. Some people are very upset about this and the controversy has made National headlines. On one hand, advertising is a fact of life on the Internet and it is how we get to see great information for free from commercial sites. At least with targeted advertising it may be of interest to us. On the other hand, not too many people want to be tracked with there every move on the Internet.
Hard Drive Space
My computer is three months old and I would say that I do a LOT of surfing Websites. The space taken on my hard drive is 115KB with 329 cookies. That really isn't a lot of space considering it is .115 of one megabyte.
I will leave it in your hands to decide what is right for your family. Know the facts then decide.
How To Manage Cookies
You can manage your cookies and even elect not to accept them. If you elect to turn off accepting cookies, you will not be able to customize many sites to your preferences.
How to Control Cookie Files for Netscape, Firefox, or Mozilla
How to Control Cookie Files for Internet Explorer users.