9. What Are Cookies?

Some web sites store information about you or your computer in a small file called a 'cookie'. The cookies are stored on your hard disk. Cookies allow the website to anonymously identify visitors. So, when a visitor returns to the website, the website is able to remember that the visitor has been to the site before.

There are two types of cookies. First-party cookies are set by the domain being visited. Only the web site that created a first-party cookie can read it. Third-party cookies are set by third party sites - basically sites other than the site being visited.

Users can choose whether to allow some, none, or all types of cookies to be set on their computers.

However, if a user does not allow cookies at all, they may not be able to view some Web sites or take advantage of customization features.

Cookies can be set with an expiration date. Persistent cookies do not have an expiration date, and remain on your computer even when you close your browser or shut down. On return visits, persistent cookies can be read by the web site that created them.

Temporary cookies have an expiration date, as they are only stored for the duration of your current browser session. As soon as you quit your browser, temporary cookies are destroyed.