Unfortunately, computer cookies aren’t nearly as delicious as their gooey real-world counterparts, but nevertheless cookies can be very important to an internet user’s experience. Basically, cookies are small files designed to store data specific to a particular website, this way the website server can tailor the site to your personal specifications. For example, if you are shopping online, cookies are what allow the store website to remember what items you have put into your shopping cart.
Every time a user logs on to a new website, cookies are the files that store any information that is created. Preferences such as font size, page layout and username are all stored by cookies. It is important to note that websites can only read their own cookies and are unable to read information for different websites.
Some websites make use of files known as “tracking cookies”, these files are used to suggest advertising content to users from third-party sites. They allow advertisers to determine user’s interests and therefore, tailor advertisements displayed towards them. In theory, this allows the displayed products to be more relevant to the user. Many feel that tracking cookies are an unwanted intrusion, gathering information which was not freely offered.