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Cyber Safety Glossary


Also Known As:
Session Cookie, Persistent Cookie.

Cookies are files stored on a user's computer that identify a PC to a Web server. A Web page that welcomes a visitor by name does so through the use of cookies. Cookies typically authenticate or identify a registered visitor of a Web site or are part of a login process. Other uses are maintaining a shopping basket of products selected for purchase during a session at a site and personalization of a site. Cookies can contain personal information that was freely given to a site as part of the user's site registration. Users rely on the organization behind the Web site to keep this information from being compromised.

How to Recognize This Threat:
Personalized Web pages indicate the cookie function is turned on.

What Should I Do:
Many people like the convenience of cookies and leave the function enabled. Others feel uncomfortable storing cookie information permanently. Internet browsers allow users to disable or set cookie preferences.