Cookies (computer term)

Definition

They are small texts file or bits of software dropped in a user's browser by the website they visit in other to keep track of the sites adverts that attract the most. This data can be used by the company who owns the advert to enable them know what kind of adverts or sites that attract the user the most [1].

Cookies have positive and negative sides.

Positive Sides

One of its positive sides is that it can remember usernames and passwords, thereby saving the user the stress of re-entering his/her user IDs or passwords.

It is also good because each time a user adds goods into his/her shopping basket online, cookie is able to save these goods such that when next the user gets unto his/her computer the items in the shopping basket would be saved by cookie and thereby saving the user the trouble of doing the shopping all over again.

Negative Sides

The negative aspect of cookie is that it can store details of sites visited and if these sites are ones that shouldn't have been visited it could be easily seen by another user who comes on that computer.

Cookies can also become harmful when they are used by companies to transfer the user's personal data from one site to another site, at this stage they become what is known as spyware cookies [3].

Conclusion

Looking at the negative aspects of cookies we would be forced to ask the question ''can these so called computer cookies be avoided?'' The answer to this question is yes. They can be deleted from off the computer. Procedures for doing this vary from computer to computer and can be found on the web.

References

[1] http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20061017110002AAjAn6L
[2] http://cookiescache.tripod.com/
[3] http://ezinearticles.com/?What-Makes-a-Cookie-a-Spyware-Cookie?&id=716437

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