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What exactly is a tracking cookie ?

  1. Feb 22, 2009 #1
    What exactly is a "tracking cookie"?

    Almost every time I'm done surfing the web, and I do a virus scan once per day, I get a "tracking cookie". My firewall never really seems to block them either, (norton antivirus 09)

    Are tracking cookies really harmful to your computer? It say's that they are low risk, but just what are the darn things? Should they always be removed?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 22, 2009 #2
    Re: What exactly is a "tracking cookie"?

    It's harmless.

    All it is is data that is collected from your search queries and things you visit on the web. Often it's used in situating ads that are personally appealing to you on websites.

    For example; An affiliate marketer visits a lot of marketing websites; when he visits Myspace there is a chance that there will be an ad relative to marketing.
  4. Feb 23, 2009 #3
    Re: What exactly is a "tracking cookie"?

    They are just a way for ad companies to track you so they can show you ads that they think you're more likely to buy from. When you visit a site they can put text files on your computer, called cookies. Usually the text just has a unique random ID number in it. Many sites use these as a way to keep track of you from visit to visit. For example if you have any sites where you automatically are logged in, cookies are how that site knows you are you. Tracking cookies are just the cookies from known marketing and ad companies, so when they show up in a scan it's fine to delete them (no benefit to you in keeping them), but nothing to be concerned with either.

    If you really wanted to you can make your web browser stop accepting all cookies, or ask you each time if you want to accept them. However, you will most likely find this annoying.
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