What is a Cookie?

A cookie is a piece of information in the form of a very small text file that is placed on an internet user's hard drive. It is generated by a web page server, which is basically the computer that operates a web site. 

The information the cookie contains is set by the server and it can be used by that server whenever the user visits the site. A cookie can be thought of as an internet user's identification card, which tell a web site when the user has returned.

What does a cookie look like?
Below is the content of a typical cookie. This one is from the Hotmail service and has the filename jss@hotmail.msn.txt (.txt is the standard filename extension for text files):

HMP1 1 hotmail.msn.com/ 0 1715191808
32107852 1236821008 29449527 *

The codes will only make sense to Microsoft's MSN Hotmail servers etc.

Visit the AboutCookies website here: www.aboutcookies.org