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What is a cookie?

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About cookies

Some Web sites use a small file, called a cookie, to keep track of you and your preferences during your visit. The server that hosts the Web site sends a cookie to your browser. Your browser then stores the cookie in a "cookies.txt" file on your computer hard disk. When your browser requests a page from the Web site, the cookie is sent back to the server. A shopping site might use a cookie to keep track of your shopping cart or your site-specific username and password. The AT&T portal uses cookies to provide a welcome page customized with your name and local weather. The AT&T support site uses cookies to remember your site settings.

Usually cookies are completely harmless and your computer can't get a virus from one. A cookie does not grab your name, address, or anything else from your computer. If you choose to enter your name and email address when you visit a site, then a cookie will allow the people who manage the site to keep track of the information you've entered. But it doesn't send any more information than you choose to give out.

If you want to learn more about cookies, Cookie Central is an excellent site.