Internet Cookies have been a mystery for many for a long time. This guide will hopefully shed some light on Cookies and what they do in reality. Below describes what cookies are, what their primary functions are and how to switch them off within all the major browsers. If you would like to use Cookie Cutter, you can gain more information along with a free download here.
Cookies are small files that are stored on a users computer whilst visiting a website. They vary in their use from core functionality of shopping carts and content management systems to tracking the amount and types of users visiting a website. They are also used as a ‘memory’ store so that on re-visiting a site a user won’t have to re-enter preferences, log back in and so on.
Why would you want to remove them?
It’s a good question! Some people may not want to give up personal information. There are also scenarios where if cookies aren’t implemented properly then users may be open to security vulnerability and ‘hackers’. Something to bare in mind though is that the browsers have been using them since 1994 and most users are completely unaware of their deployment (37% according to study undertaken by the ICO in 2011). This was very much with the expectation that users will get all the benefits without having to know all the ‘geek’ aspects.
If for some reason you would like to investigate how to remove cookies from your browser, here’s how to do it:
Hopefully this helps put the record straight but if you would like to read more on the topic, here’s a link to the wikipedia entry.