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Cookies Cookies are files that are sent to a user from a web site to enable the site to recognise the user and the users preferences Cookies originated back in the early 1990s with the development of the Internet They range in size Cookies are a discreet form of website communication only the website that sends the cookie can read it Cookies hold a variety of information but in text form only If the user chooses to reject them there are a number of things that a site can do in reaction to this There are a number of arguments for and against cookies Cookies were developed by Netscape which first brought cookies into the Internet World sometime in 1995 They consist of a small text file containing information about the user and the users relationship with the site that issues it Only the site that issues the cookie can read the file from the users computer This small file is usually stored in the computers memory and it is able to save to the users hard drive when the browser application is terminated or when the computers memory space is depleted The information is made up of small pieces of data about the users computer Such as hardware and software configuration email address and what site the user is entering from It also can record preferences for a site making the website able to recognise a user and display the appropriate information the user has showed an interest in It can also pass this information on to other sites or interested parties All of these functions can be invaluable for a website For example the information the website can gather can possibly be sold to an advertising agency who can use this information to reveal what sort of advertising the user may be interested in The average user may view this as an advantage or possibly as a complete disrespect of privacy The
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