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cookie
Last modified: Monday, November 03, 2003 

A message given to a Web browser by a Web server. The browser stores the message in a text file. The message is then sent back to the server each time the browser requests a page from the server.

Also see session cookie and persistent cookie.

The main purpose of cookies is to identify users and possibly prepare customized Web pages for them. When you enter a Web site using cookies, you may be asked to fill out a form providing such information as your name and interests. This information is packaged into a cookie and sent to your Web browser which stores it for later use. The next time you go to the same Web site, your browser will send the cookie to the Web server. The server can use this information to present you with custom Web pages. So, for example, instead of seeing just a generic welcome page you might see a welcome page with your name on it.

The name cookie derives from UNIX objects called magic cookies. These are tokens that are attached to a user or program and change depending on the areas entered by the user or program.

Also see Do Cookies Compromise Security? in the Did You Know . . . ? section of Webopedia.

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For internet.com pages about cookie . Also check out the following links!

Related Links

Cookie Central 
Features news, informative articles, and FAQs about Internet Cookies.

Client Side State - HTTP Cookies
Netscape's preliminary specification for HTTP cookies. Contains overview information as well as sample syntax and examples of transaction sequences.

Cookie Info
Many people consider cookies to be dangerous. Here is the truth about these small text flies.

How cookies work
This Webmonkey Geek Talk column, from November 7, 1996, provides an explanation of how cookies work.

The EPIC Cookies Page
Includes information about how the IETF is considering a proposal to fix some of the problems with cookies, as well as articles on cookies and privacy, news items, and related Web sites.

The Unofficial Cookie FAQ
Contains an introduction to cookies and answers general questions. Includes sections on cookie fundamentals, creation, retrieval, and advanced topics. This FAQ is hosted by the Cookie Center site.

Yahoo!'s persistent cookies page
Yahoo!'s directory of persistent cookies.

related categories

Web Development

related terms

browser

dynamic HTML

log file

stateless

Web beacon

Web server

World Wide Web


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