Cookies on the Internet – a Guide

It’s funny how the tech community (service providers, browser support associates, etc) started using the term “cookies” without bothering to explain it to anyone.

Because we’ve heard the term so much, it’s obvious that cookies are an important part of our online life…but what are they?

Simply put, “cookies” are small files that websites you visit place on your computer for you.  The information in the file tells your browser to give you a personalized experience.

A simple example is EarthLink.net.  When you visit, you are brought to a page where you can choose to view “residential” or “business” information (see graphic below).  Once you chose “residential” information, you are brought to a page showing only residential services.

When you make this selection, EarthLink gives your computer a “cookie” so it remembers that you’re interested in residential info.  Because of the cookie, the next time you visit EarthLink.net, you’ll be taken directly to this page instead of the one displaying choices (see second graphic, below).

You have control of these files (you can tell your browser to accept or deny them, and you can delete them…if you want to see EarthLink.net’s “Residential or Business info?” page again, for example…), but I recommend allowing them, since their purpose is to give you an easier online experience.

 

The Answer to “What Are Cookies?”

Cookies are tasty baked goods.  Cookies are also an internet term. Since we know what the desserts are…what exactly ARE cookies on my computer?

To be simple, “cookies” are tiny files that websites you visit place on your computer.  The file holds info that allows your browser to give you a personalized web experience.

For example: EarthLink.net.  When you first visit, you see a page where you can choose to view “residential” or “business” information (see graphic below).  Once you chose “residential” information, you are brought to a page showing only residential services.

When you make this selection, EarthLink gives your computer a “cookie” so it remembers that you’re interested in residential info.  Because of the cookie, the next time you visit EarthLink.net, you’ll be taken straight to this page instead of the initial one showing the choices (see second graphic, below).

You can control these files (set your browser to accept them or deny them, and you can easily delete them…if you want to see EarthLink.net’s “Residential or Business info?” page again, for example…), but we recommend accepting them, since they are created to give you a more seamless internet experience.

 

Cookies – What They Are & How to Manage Them

It’s funny how the tech community (service providers, browser support associates, etc) started using the term “cookies” without bothering to explain it to anyone.

Because we’ve heard the term so much, it’s obvious that cookies are an important part of our online life…but what are they?

Simply put, “cookies” are small files that websites you visit place on your computer for you.  The information in the file tells your browser to give you a personalized experience.

A simple example is EarthLink.net.  When you visit, you are brought to a page where you can choose to view “residential” or “business” information (see graphic below).  Once you chose “residential” information, you are brought to a page showing only residential services.

When you make this selection, EarthLink gives your computer a “cookie” so it remembers that you’re interested in residential info.  Because of the cookie, the next time you visit EarthLink.net, you’ll be taken directly to this page instead of the one displaying choices (see second graphic, below).

You have control of these files (you can tell your browser to accept or deny them, and you can delete them…if you want to see EarthLink.net’s “Residential or Business info?” page again, for example…), but I recommend allowing them, since their purpose is to give you an easier online experience.