So my blog and our computer in general has been running slower lately and it is likely because the blasted thing is old and about to die, but my hubby's theory is that it is all this wretched blogging so I was screwing around with the security settings (and I'm lucky I didn't change our computer's primary language to Mandarin) and somehow got it to where each site I go to prompts me for all the cookies on that site. Man alive! I can't believe how many there are. It makes me wonder. Some of the sites are sites I know they want my information, like, um this one. And I've already filled it out but a lot of the sites I'm like wha-huh? Who are you? Which got me curious about just what exactly cookies are so I looked it up in Wikipedia. In case you are blonde like me and seriously didn't know. (I had a vague general idea, and ok, ok so I watched the movie Eagle Eye and I'm a little paranoid now, sue me! No. Seriously. Please don't we don't have any money. What do you want to take our mangled tent?)
HTTP cookies, more commonly referred to as Web cookies, tracking cookies or just cookies, areparcels of text sent by a server to a Web client (usually a browser) and then sent back unchanged by the client each time it accesses that server. HTTP cookies are used for authenticating, session tracking (state maintenance), and maintaining specific information about users, such as site preferences or 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.
Because they can be used for tracking browsing behavior, cookies have been of concern for Internet privacy. As a result, they have been subject to legislation in various countries such as the United States, as well as the European Union. Cookies have also been criticized because the identification of users they provide is not always accurate and because they could potentially be a target of network attackers. Some alternatives to cookies exist, but each has its own uses, advantages, and 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, although cookies from certain sites are described as spyware by many anti-spyware products because they allow users to be tracked when they visit various sites.
Most modern browsers allow users to decide whether to accept cookies, but rejection makes some websites unusable. For example, shopping carts implemented using cookies do not work if cookies are rejected