"The Cookie Monster"

Before we can discuss the pros and cons of computer cookies, we must know what they are.  Cookies are small text files that are stored on your computers hard drive whenever you visit a Web Site.  Web hosts can use these to track the number of visitors to their sites.  One advantage to using cookies is that they can save you time.  The cookie text file will remember usernames, passwords and any information put into that web page, so there is no need to re-enter that information.  However, a cookies ability to store information is a double-edged sword.  For example, information that you've entered onto a public computer can be seen and possibly even used by the next user on that Web Site.  Adware cookies can store personal information (like your surfing habits, usernames and passwords, and areas of interest) and share the information with other Web sites. This sharing of information allows marketing firms to create a user profile based on your personal information and sell it to other firms.  The result can be unwanted advertisements, pop-ups and troublesome junk-mail.  In extreme cases, hackers can even gain access to your personal information through the use of cookies.

Cookies are not designed to steal your information, nevertheless your information can be at risk.  So, it is better to be safe than sorry; deleting cookies from your PC can help keep your personal information personal, and prevent hackers and marketing firms from taking advantage.

What to do:
(to delete cookies created by Internet Explorer 6)
  1. Open Internet Explorer

  2. From the toolbar, select "Tools" and click on "Internet Options"

  3. From the "General" tab click "Delete Cookies" and click OK

  4. Once the cookies are gone, delete your temporary Internet files by clicking "Delete Files"

  5. From the resulting prompt, check the box to delete all offline content and click OK

(to delete cookies created by Netscape Navigator)

  1. Open Netscape Navigator

  2. From the toolbar, select "Tools" and hover your mouse over "Cookie Manager"

  3. Select "Manage Stored Cookies" from the sub-menu and click on "Remove all Cookies"

  4. Click OK

(to delete cookies created by Mozilla Firefox)

  1. Open Moxilla Firefox

  2. From the toolbar, select "Tools" and then "Options..."

  3. Click on the "Privacy" tab at the top of the resulting box

  4. Select, "Show cookies..." and click on "Remove All Cookies"





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