Cookies are, depending on who you are and what you are trying to do, either a great tool for managing data on the web or an insidious invasion of personal privacy.
In reality, they are neither. They are a "thing". Whether they are a "great tool" or an "insidious invasion of personal privacy" depends on how the thing is used.
What is a cookie?
A cookie is a piece of data that a website leaves on your computer so that it can know things about you when you go to the next page or when you come back to the website.
How can I learn more about cookies?
I could write an article about them. But there is no need to.
There is an excellent FAQ at CookiECentral.com. Rather than trying to say again what it already says so well, I'll just refer you there.
I've also listed a couple other sources of information below that might be of use to you.
Is there a way to block cookies?
Yes. The FAQ explains how to turn them off at the browser.
I also recommend a tool that lets you enable or disable them on a website by website basis. For example, I have them turned off as a default but I turn them on for websites I trust. The tool is AdSubtract Pro. I have a link below.
On My Site
Across the Net
Do Cookies Pose Any Security Risks?: Part of a FAQ by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) on security, this section (Q66) addresses some of the technical issues of cookies and their impact on security. (www.w3.org/Security/Faq/wwwsf7.html#Q66)
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