“ A cookie consists of information sent by a web server to a web browser, and stored by the browser. The information is then sent back to the server each time the browser requests a page from the server. This enables the web server to identify and track the web browser.”
Information obtained from cookies can be used to gather information to improve a website and to identify your computer when you return to a website.
If you look at your cookies file you may see the names of web sites that you have never heard of. They were probably put there by companies that resell advertising space from a large number of popular sites.
Any web site that knows your identity and has cookie for you can set up procedures to exchange their data with the companies that buy advertising space from them. Therefore once your identity becomes known to a single company listed in your cookies file, any of the others might know who you are every time you visit their sites.
Some cookies are fairly harmless. These cookies tend to expire quickly and simply let you use a Web site more easily. But not all cookies are innocent. Some cookies, like tracking cookies, can actually collect a great deal of information about what Web sites you visit and what you look at and do at those Web sites.
If you supply your drivers license, personal details and bank account numbers etc electronically in any way, then it is a risk you take. Such information can be unethically and illegally supplied to others. It is up to the user to decide if he/she trusts a web site requesting such information, and the sites reputation. One should be more concerned with the capability of sending personal information from ones computer, without ones knowledge , via clever Java applets. Cookies can't obtain information, programs can!
Cookies are a necessary evil in terms of your online experience.
Cookies allow you to shop and browse with ease and quick response time.
As with all computer generated software, not all cookies are safe, just as not all websites are safe.
It is important to understand how these cookies work and their purpose so that you can protect yourself from the unwanted sharing of information.
Cookies, in and of themselves, are not the problem. The problem is the people out in cyber world who use them improperly.
Err on the side of caution. Check out websites before you use them extensively, if at all.