There are two different types of browser cookies that are stored on your computer – session and permanent cookies. Session cookies are stored in the computer's memory only during your browsing session and are automatically deleted from your computer when the browser is closed. These cookies usually store a session ID that is not personally identifiable, allowing you to move from page-to-page without having to log-in repeatedly. Session cookies are never written to the hard drive and they do not collect any information from your computer. They are widely used by commercial web sites; for example, to keep track of items that a consumer has added to a shopping cart. For instance, when you add an item to your shopping cart while shopping online, the information on that item is placed into a cookie. When you are finished with your online shopping, the application then references the appropriate cookie, tallies up your purchases, and bills you for those items.
Permanent cookies are stored on your computer’s hard drive and are not deleted when the browser is closed. These cookies can retain user preferences for a particular web site, allowing those preferences to be used in future browsing sessions. Permanent cookies can be used to identify individual users, so they may be used by web sites to analyze users' surfing behavior within the web site. These cookies can also be used to provide information about number of visitors, the average time spent on a particular page, log-in information stored in an account, and generally the performance of the web site.
In addition to session and permanent cookies, many sites allow their advertisers to place “third-party” cookies on your computer. Third-party cookies allow the marketing or an advertising company to track your interests and browsing through multiple web sites and companies. Third-party cookies, ones used by companies you are not dealing directly with, are more of a privacy issue than a security issue. The more you allow companies to track your online behavior, the more they can market directly to your specific interests. How cookies are processed and/or stored on your computer is controlled by your browser’s privacy settings.
It Is recommended that you:
• Set your cookie preferences using your browser privacy settings.
• Periodically delete cookies from your computer.
• Session cookies should be automatically deleted when you have completed a
financial transaction online. By clearing your cookies from your browser
periodically you can decrease the risk of the misuse of information accidentally
or intentionally stored in cookies.
• Do not allow cookies to store login information.
• Keep your system and browser up-to-date on patches, update your anti-
spyware software, and only visit trusted web sites.
• If you do not want to share your online behavior data with third-parties, set your
privacy settings to not allow third-party cookies. Note, this may impact your
• Be cautious when sharing your computer. If you stored credential information
using a browser cookie (user names and password), the individual using your
computer will have access to your account and will be able to process
transactions in your name.
• Browsing Safely: Understanding Active Content and Cookies:
• Evaluating Your Web Browser's Security Settings:
• Http Cookie: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTTP_cookie
• How to Control Cookies: www.aboutcookies.org/Default.aspx?page=1
“CYBER SECURITY IS OUR SHARED RESPONSIBILITY”