Cookies are short pieces of data used by web servers to help identify web users. The popular concepts and rumors about what a
cookie can do has reached almost mystical proportions, frightening users and worrying their managers.
The vulnerability of systems to damage or snooping by using web browser cookies is essentially nonexistent. Cookies can only tell a web server if you have been there before and can pass short bits of information (such as a user number) from the web server back to itself the next time you visit.
The popular rumors about web cookies describe them as programs that can scan your hard drive and gather information about you including: passwords, credit card numbers, and a list of the software on your computer. None of this is close to the truth. A cookie is a short piece of data, not code, which is sent from a web server to a web browser when that browser visits the server's site. The cookie is stored on the user's machine, but it is not an executable program and cannot do anything to your machine.
Whenever a web browser requests a file from the web server that sent it a cookie, the browser sends a copy of that cookie back to the server along with the request. Thus a server sends you a cookie and you send it back whenever you request another file from the same server. In this way, the server knows you have visited before and can coordinate your access to different pages on its web site. For example, an Internet shopping site uses a cookie to keep track of which shopping basket belongs to you. A server cannot find out your name or e-mail address, or anything about your computer using cookies.
Normally, cookies are only sent back to the server that originally sent them to the browser and to no one else. A server can set the domain attribute for a cookie so that any server in the same Internet subdomain as the computer that sent the cookie will have the cookie sent along with a file request. This is so those larger sites that utilize multiple servers can coordinate their cookies across all the servers. The domain path can not be set to send cookies to a subdomain outside of the subdomain where the server resides.
We hope this information tapers any concerns that you may have with us using cookes to help make your expierence on our site more smoothly.