Web Cookies Explained

As #Internet users we come across 'cookies' in every website we visit but do you know what they are?

The early cookies were 'baked' in 1994 by Lou Montulli and John Giannandrea (Netscape Communications programmers) to determine whether Netscape website users were new or repeat ones, and a simple tool that would help to personalise the user's experience, and make it much better than competing websites.

A #cookie is a small text file specific to every user, and is actually stored in our computer. When we visit a website for the first time, it sends out a cookie to our computer to save #information based on what we do.

Every time we return to the website, the cookie will report that you are a repeating customer:

[if !supportLists]• [endif]On a shopping website, the cookie will help to personalise your shopping experience, showing you other items you may also like, or let you continue a purchase that you have interrupted earlier.

[if !supportLists]• [endif]On a news website, it will show you first and foremost the news about the topics you have shown most interest in.

As convenient as cookies may be when you visit your favourite #websites, they have also brought #confidentiality issues when some website owners have decided to sell the information they have gathered from their clients to other parties...

Most of the web browsers now feature an anonymous option, which prevents or eliminates all the cookies. Particularly useful when you want to look for (or buy) a gift for a #special someone who also uses the same computer, and might visit the same shopping website you have used.

You have a simple choice to make: do you trust the websites and enjoy having your favourite items right at your disposal? Or do you want to search more for what you like and have other type of items shown?

Time or anonymity is a 21st century question that only you can answer.

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