A cookie (or computer cookie) is a small information sent by a website and stored in the user’s browser so that the website can consult the previous user activity. Its main functions are:
- You keep track of users: When a user enters their username and password, a cookie is stored so you do not have to be introducing them to each page server. However, a cookie does not identify only one person, but to a combination of computer-browser-user.
- Get information about the user’s browsing habits, and attempted spyware (spyware), by agencies and other advertising. This can cause privacy and is one of the reasons that the cookies have their detractors.
Sites that require identification often offer this feature, but is also present in other that do not require. Customization includes presentation and functionality. Cookies are also used for tracking users through a website. The monitoring in one place is usually done with the intent to keep usage statistics, while tracking across sites typically aims to create anonymous user profiles by advertising companies, which are then used to guide campaigns advertising (deciding which advertising use) based on user profiles.