Category Archives: Cookies

Understanding Cookies

What is a cookie?

What is a cookie?
Cookies are small text files that are placed on a user’s hard drive by the Web site that the user is visiting. This file records preferences and other data about your visit to that particular site, allowing a site to “remember” you on your next visit, for example. Cookies are often used for long-term data collection, such as storing your name, address, and preferences, so you won’t have to reenter this information each time you visit a site.

However, if you’re someone who would prefer not to have the personalization offered by cookies and would like to turn them off, the following is a simple, step-by-step tutorial for preventing cookies from reaching your computer. Please follow the instructions appropriate to the use of Netscape or Internet Explorer. Instructions for Apple Macintosh-users are also included.

Cookie Notes:

  1. Cookies are just text files. They can’t search your hard disk for information or trash your files. They only record information that you have submitted to Web sites.
  2. Some Web sites cannot be accessed unless your browser accepts cookies.

For Netscape Navigator 4.x

  1. Go to the Edit menu and select Preferences.
  2. Click on the Advanced heading.
  3. Go to Cookies and click on the option you want:
    • Accept all cookies;
    • Accept only cookies that get sent back to the originating server; or
    • Disable cookies.
  4. You may also check “Warn me before accepting a cookie” if you want your browser to ask your permission before downloading a cookie.

For Internet Explorer 5

  1. Go to the Tools menu and select Internet Options.
  2. Click on the Security tab.
  3. Click on the Custom Level button.
  4. Scroll down to the Cookies heading.
  5. Click on the options you want for stored and non-stored cookies.
  6. Click on Disable to reject all cookies.
  7. Click on Enable to accept all cookies.
  8. Click on Prompt to ensure that you’ll be asked permission before accepting a cookie.

For Internet Explorer 4 and 5 on Macintosh

  1. Go to the Edit menu and select Preferences.
  2. Click on the Receiving Files tab.
  3. Click on the Cookies heading.
  4. Scroll down to the Cookies heading.
  5. On the right side of the window, there is a pull-down menu, preceded by “When receiving cookies” followed by the following options:
    Never Ask: Cookies are always accepted and you are never prompted before a cookie is saved to your hard disk.
    Ask For Each Site: For each site you are asked whether you want to accept or decline cookies from the site.
    Ask For Each Cookie: As each cookie arrives, you are asked if you want to accept it.
    Never Accept: Cookies are never accepted and you are never prompted.
  6. Select the most appropriate option from above.
  7. Click OK

Making Your Cookies Folder Read Only 
This method allows you to accept cookies, but it limits the amount of information Web sites can obtain and prevents sites from writing documents onto your hard disk.

  1. Double click the My Computer icon on your desktop.
  2. Locate the Cookies folder on your computer’s hard disk. The folder is usually found in the C:\WINDOWS directory.
  3. Open the folder by double clicking on it.
  4. Delete all the files without the .txt suffix (these are the cookies) in the folder. The files with the .txt suffix are system files.
  5. Close the Cookies folder.
  6. In the C:\WINDOWS directory, click once on the Cookies folder.
  7. Select Properties from the File menu.
  8. Mark the Read Only box under the Attributes heading and click OK.