When someone is using a computer to browse a website, a personalised cookie file can be sent from the website’s server to the person’s computer. The cookie is stored in the web browser on the person’s computer. At some time in the future, the person may browse that website again. The website can send a message to the person’s browser, asking if a cookie from the website is already stored in the browser. If a cookie is found, then the data that was stored in the cookie before can be used by the website to tell the website about the person’s previous activity. Some examples where cookies are used include shopping carts, automatic login and remembering which advertisements have already been shown.
Cookies have been a problem for Internet privacy. This is because they can be used to track browsing behavior. Because of this, laws have been made in some countries to protect people’s privacy. There are many other options than cookies, but each option has its own problems.
Cookies have often been mistaken for computer programs. But cookies cannot do much on their own. They are simply a piece of data. They are often called spyware or viruses, but they are not either of these.
Routine Information Collection
All web servers track basic information about their visitors. This information includes, but is not limited to, IP addresses, browser details, timestamps and referring pages. None of this information can personally identify specific visitors to this site. The information is tracked for routine administration and maintenance purposes.
Cookies and Web Beacons
Controlling Your Privacy
Note that you can change your browser settings to disable cookies if you have privacy concerns. Disabling cookies for all sites is not recommended as it may interfere with your use of some sites. The best option is to disable or enable cookies on a per-site basis. Consult your browser documentation for instructions on how to block cookies and other tracking mechanisms. This list of web browser privacy management links may also be useful.
Special Note About Google Advertising
Any advertisements served by Google, Inc., and affiliated companies may be controlled using cookies. These cookies allow Google to display ads based on your visits to this site and other sites that use Google advertising services. Learn how to opt out of Google's cookie usage. As mentioned above, any tracking done by Google through cookies and other mechanisms is subject to Google's own privacy policies.