Learn what cookies are, what cookies do, and why and when you should enable them.
Step 1: Know what cookies are Know that cookies are bits of information your web browser stores on your computer. They let web sites keep track of your preferences – choices you've made or sites you've visited – so they can personalize their appearance or functionality.
TIP: Although cookies can track and report sites you've viewed, they cannot read data stored on your computer. Cookies do not transmit viruses and will not harm your system.
Step 2: Know where cookies come from Cookies may be set on your computer, not just by the sites you visit but also by sites referenced in unseen code. Such "third-party" cookies are often set by advertisers.
TIP: You can set your web browser to block third-party cookies.
Step 3: Manage cookies in Internet Explorer Click Internet Options and select the Privacy tab. Choose one of the preset privacy levels, which allow cookies based on the privacy policies of sites that set them and whether they are first- or third-party sites.
TIP: Medium or medium high are appropriate Internet Explorer privacy settings for most users.
Step 4: Manage cookies in Firefox Select Tools, Options, and then Privacy. Choose to accept or block all cookies or only third-party cookies. If you accept cookies, click Exceptions to enter specific sites you don't want to set cookies on your system.
Step 5: Manage cookies in Safari Select Edit and then Preferences. Choose to accept cookies Always, Never, or Only from Sites You Navigate To. The default setting blocks only third-party cookies.
FACT: Did you know? Chinese fortune cookies well-loved in the U.S., are not popular in China.