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AllAboutCookies.org - FAQ Section

I have heard that cookies are bad for privacy - is that true?

Not true. Cookies are simple text files created for the main purpose of helping your browser process the special features of websites that use cookies. Cookies
help website servers remember you as you navigate from page to page. This simple feature makes e-commerce possible since you don't have to reload your shopping cart every time you leave a page.

Cookies serve the following purposes:

1. Protection – to make sure you are who you claim to be and not another person who managed to get a copy of your password.

2. Quickly determine your identity from page to page and remember the items you put in your shopping cart. This feature is essential for any type of e-commerce.

3. Settings – cookies help the website you're visiting remember the settings you selected on a prior visit. This includes themes and language preferences as well as remember login names and passwords for easier entry on future visits.

4. Limit advertising – cookies prevent ad serving scripts from showing annoying popup ads again and again. They also remember your previous pages so you don't see ads geared for first time visitors to those pages again during a session.

Many websites use third party service providers to serve content, ads, and other services. These third parties might service more than one site. Theoretically speaking, the cookies these providers are using might be able to be understood by websites other than the one you're viewing.

I have heard that cookies are bad for privacy - is that true?

This is a myth - cookies are a friendly internet tool primarily used by the advertising and e-commerce industry to make surfing easier and quicker. They have several roles, none of which can compromise your privacy:

  1. Protection - to ensure you are a genuine visitor and not someone else using your password.
  2. Authenticate and speed up your identification and e-commerce transactions.
  3. Recognise preferences e.g. remember user names and passwords for websites.
  4. Cap the frequency of ad serving and to make sure that advertisements are rotated and not duplicated during any one visit to a site

Many websites use the services of other companies to provide the content and services on their website. These third parties may provide content or services to more than one website. If they are using cookies, in theory, they can understand what that cookie does on a number of different sites.

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