What are cookies?

Nope, much as we would like to tell you that these are the edible treats that your grandmother makes, we can’t. In the context of this website, cookies are wholly different creatures (and they’re definitely not edible).

In its more formal name, the computer “cookie” is known as an HTTP cookie, a web cookie, an Internet cookie or a browser cookie. It is also sometimes called a ‘magic cookie’, which is a term for a packet of data that a computer receives and then sends back without changing or altering it.

Actually, it doesn’t really matter what it’s called, because it never changes what it does. A computer cookie consists of information. Whenever you visit a website, the same website sends the cookie to your computer. Your computer stores it in a file located inside your web browser. For example, if you happened to check out a website dealing with audio transcription, that website will give the cookies to your computer for it to store for future use.

So, what do these cookies do?

You might be thinking: “if they’re not edible, and if I never see them in their physical form, then what purpose do they really serve?” The computer cookie is actually what helps the website keep track of your visits and activity. And before you panic and worry about your privacy or about getting hacked, this isn’t always a bad thing.

When you go online shopping, there are many online retailers that use cookies to keep track of the items in a user’s shopping cart whenever they explore the site. Now imagine if there weren’t any cookies. Your shopping cart would reset to zero every time you clicked a new link on the site.

Also, a website might also use cookies so that it can keep a record of your most recent visit or sometimes to keep your login information. Let’s go back to that website on how to transcribe audio. If that’s something you have to do all the time (because it happens to be your line of work, or something like that), then it’s important that some of that login information is stored so you don’t have to redo everything all the time.

Assurance: The cookies that you accumulate by using this page are treated with utmost care and concern for your privacy, and won’t be used against you in any way.