What are internet “cookies”?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Sep 23, 2011

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As you travel around the Internet, your browser picks up information that your computer stores. This information becomes your “cookie.” When you go to some websites, the operator of that site may request that your cookie be read and captured for use then or in the future by the web site operator. We create a cookie to help you navigate by state, and give more specific information to you. Ours expires when you leave our site. Others may let it stay up for years. Each time you go to a website, when downloading its information to you the website server also sends a piece of state-specific information that will be loaded onto your computer (a description of the range of URLs for which that state is valid). The device has important functions for web site operators – such as currently selected items at a shopping mall, and per-user preferences can be captured. These cookies, if you give them to the web site, can then be electronically duplicated and spread around. Other cookies can include code from the website, which can even be used, or misused, to create remote activities on your computer.

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