We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is the Function of Computer Cookies?

By Christian Petersen
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Computer cookies, also called HTTP cookies, to differentiate them from the food, are a type of file placed on a computer by an Internet website. These files record certain information about the computer and its users in relation to a specific website. This allows websites to save information such as a user's preferences, what type of browser is in use, browsing tendencies, and IP address. The web server can then customize the user's experience by tailoring advertisements and other content.

The information contained in computer cookies is generally not sensitive. It consists of information freely given by the user and information recorded as part of the process of Internet navigation. Cookies often save basic information such as email addresses and the user's name. This usually occurs when a cookie is created which generally happens when a website is first visited. This information allows the website to "remember" a particular user when the the user visits again at a later time.

The use of these files can speed up the process of Internet navigation by storing information on a user's computer rather than on a web server. Without cookies all of this information for every visitor to a website would have to be stored on the web server. Computer cookies can also store log-in data for a particular website so that a user can avoid having to log in every time he visits.

Temporary computer cookies are used mainly to help navigate a particular site. These types of cookies are called session cookies and they only exist for as long as a user is connected to that site. They remember which pages have been visited and what choices may have been selected on those pages. They are deleted by the computer when the connection is closed. Permanent cookies, also called persistent cookies, remain on the computer even after a user leaves a website.

While most computer cookies are intended to enhance the experience of Internet navigation and use, some cookies may be undesirable or harmful. They can store personal information entered while on certain websites which can be then used to send spam or other advertisements while visiting other websites. For this reason, it can be useful to periodically delete all cookies and to only enter personal information when the security and identity of a particular website are certain.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Logicfest — On Aug 17, 2014

@Vincenzo -- There are programs out there that will analyze and let you choose which cookies to keep. One of those could solve your problem. Simply run a search and find a good one.

Be careful, though. Get one with good reviews because some of those free apps are actually malware.

By Vincenzo — On Aug 17, 2014

I honestly dislike the way these things are used because they collect a lot of information and then annoy me with it. For example, let's say I search for an item online. We'll call it a widget.

Thanks to cookies, I will be treated to ads about widgets just about every time I visit an Internet site. It is tempting to delete all cookies, but there is a problem there. A lot of useful information such as user names are stored and it stinks to throw out the good with the bad.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.