|The term "cookie" is the name given to a small file
of information (normally less than 1k) that a website, accessed by you
the visitor, places onto your hard disk drive so that the depositing
site can remember something about you when you access that site, or in
some cases other sites, at a later time.
The term cookie derives from UNIX program objects called "magic
cookies". These are digital tokens that are attached to a user or
program and that change depending on the areas entered by the user or
the program selected by that user.
Typically, the cookie records your preferences when using a
particular website. Using the internet's HyperText Transfer Protocol
(HTTP), each request that you make for a webpage is independent of
every other request. For this reason, the webpage server (the computer
system where the requested information is stored) has no memory of
pages that it has previously sent to a user or anything about their
previous visits, if any, without the utilization of cookie technology.
|There are two kinds of cookies: Session Cookies
and Persistent Cookies.
|The "session cookie", also called a transient
cookie is a type of cookie that is erased when the user closes
the active web browser. The session cookie is stored in
temporary memory and is not retained after the browser is
closed. Session cookies do not collect information from the
user's computer. They typically store information in the form of
a session identification that does not personally identify the
website visitor or website user.
|The second type of cookie is the "persistent
cookie", also referred to as a permanent cookie, or a stored
cookie, is a cookie that is stored on a userís hard drive until
it expires (persistent cookies are set with expiration dates) or
until the user deletes the cookie. Persistent cookies are used
to collect identifying information about the user, such as web
surfing behavior or user preferences for a specific website.
We may utilize both types of cookies. The cookie technology
utilized by our websites deposits a cookie that normally expires
within six months, so that there should be little concern about
collecting and storing outdated and unnecessary information. We never
collect personally identifiable information.
You can view the cookies that have been stored on your hard disk
drive, although the content stored in each cookie may not make much
sense. The location of the cookies depends on your browser. Internet
Explorer stores cookies as separate files in a Windows folder named
"\Cookies." Netscape stores all cookies in a single "cookies.txt"
file. Opera stores them in a single "cookies.dat" file.
Cookies are most commonly used to alternate the advertising content
that a website sends to your screen, so that it does not keep sending
the same ads again and again as you receive a succession of requested
webpages. Cookies can also be used to customize requested pages based
on your browser type, video characteristics, or other information that
you may have provided to that website. Web users must agree, in their
browser setup, or manually depending on their system settings, to
allow cookies be saved on their hard disk drive.
As a general rule, cookies help website operators serve their users
better and more quickly. On all of the webpages on this website there
is no personally identifiable information conveyed in either
direction, either sent or received and stored, in a cookie. There is
nothing transmitted to which you have not consented, and there is
never any information externally aggregated or exchanged.
Cookies do not read your hard drive and send your life story to the
CIA. A cookie, however, can be used to gather more information about a
user than would be generally possible without their use, generally
about use patterns. Keep in mind, you control the information and the
acceptance of cookies.