Dictionary definition of a Cookie
plural noun: cookies
- a sweet biscuit.
- Informal –a person of a specified kind. “she’s a tough cookie”
Oxford has not caught up about what “Cookies” is used to define yet but let me help you.
Cookies are text files which you can read using any notebook or word based program. They contain two pieces of information: a site name and unique user ID.
The site then ’knows’ that you have been there before, and in some cases, tailors what pops up on screen to take account of that fact. This can mean your browsing experience better and more suited to your needs.
Cookies can do various things and some do more than others. From recording pages visited to things you’ve added to your “basket” it can record different levels of your activity to be recalled the next time to visit. Not everyone uses them to their full advantage but they can often to be used to streamline your browsing experience and help you out.
Some people do not like the idea of stored information as it can also be used to show you exclusive deals (direct selling) or mean you can be added to marketing lists. They do not gather anything personal but many people still feel as if it is a little invasive and are against it which is for each person to decide themselves.
When cookies began to appear people believed (as they still may) that it was intrusive and their own computer was being used without their knowledge to gather information on them.