Video:What are Internet Cookies?with Don Schechter
You may have heard the phrase "Internet cookies," but do you know what it means? Find out what these little bits of information do and how to get rid of them.See Transcript
Transcript:What are Internet Cookies?Hi, I'm Don Schechter for About.com Computing. Today I'll talk about what Internet cookies are and how you can get rid of them.
Definition of Internet CookiesInternet cookies are, in fact, pretty harmless. They are little bits of information your Internet browser remembers to make it easier for you to shop online by remembering the information you fill in and filling it in automatically next time.
Similarly, at weather websites, your hometown area can be called up faster because the information from the last time you visited the site is stored in the cookies.
How Cookies WorkEver wonder how you can automatically log into your web-based email? Your username and password is stored information.
In addition to remembering personal information, cookies also remembers what websites you visit and can track the kind of advertisements you might stop and click on.
For example, if you frequently visit video game websites, you might get more banner ads for video games or gaming equipment.
Ways to Avoid CookiesThe good news is, if you don't enter personal information into your computer, it can never have access to it.
For example, if you don't want anyone to know your phone number, don't type it in any forms online.
Delete Cookies in Internet ExplorerBut if you do enter personal information that you don't want to get out, you can always delete your cookies.
If you're using Internet Explorer 6 or later, click on 'Tools' in the browser, then select 'Internet Options.' On the general tab, click 'Delete.' Click 'OK' to confirm and all your cookies will be erased.
Turn Off Cookies in Internet ExplorerIf you decide that you never want your Internet Explorer browser to remember cookies, click on 'Tools' and click 'Internet Options.'
On the privacy tab, click 'Advanced.' Check the override automatic cookie handling box. Click 'OK' to confirm and 'OK' to complete.
Now cookies will not be able to track the pages you browse or remember personal information. This means that you will have to fill in any online form, which could become tiresome if you are involved with e-commerce.
Remove Cookies in FirefoxIf you primarily use Firefox and you want to remove cookies, click 'Tools' and select 'Options.' On the cookies menu, click 'View Cookies.' Click 'Remove Cookies,' or 'Remove All Cookies.' Click 'OK' to confirm.
It will erase all the cookie files stored on your computer.
To prevent future cookies, click the checkbox next to 'Allow Sites to Set Cookies.' Then click 'OK' to confirm. Now cookies will not be tracked and your personal information will not be remembered.
Thanks for watching. For more information please visit us online at computing.about.com.
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