What is Http Cookie

By: Donald Yeary

2 Apr 2007

HTTP cookie
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HTTP cookies, sometimes known as web cookies or just cookies, are parcels of text sent by a server to a web browser and then sent back unchanged by the browser each time it accesses that server. HTTP cookies are used for authenticating, tracking, and maintaining specific information about users, such as site preferences and the contents of their electronic shopping carts. The term "cookie" is derived from "magic cookie," a well-known concept in Unix computing which inspired both the idea and the name of HTTP cookies.

Cookies have been of concern for Internet privacy, since they can be used for tracking browsing behavior. As a result, they have been subject to legislation in various countries such as the United States and in the European Union. Cookies have also been criticised because the identification of users they provide is not always accurate and because they could potentially be used for network attacks. Some alternatives to cookies exist, but each has its own drawbacks.

Cookies are also subject to a number of misconceptions, mostly based on the erroneous notion that they are computer programs. In fact, cookies are simple pieces of data unable to perform any operation by themselves. In particular, they are neither spyware nor viruses, despite the detection of cookies from certain sites by many anti-spyware products. This is only a small protion of the cookie steps and I hope this gives you a good idea what cookies are and how they work.

Wikipedia Encyclopedia/DONALD YEARY 410338

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