Overview of Cookies
Cookies are small files that automatically get stored in the system drives whenever Windows users visit websites. Almost every website, when accessed, automatically saves cookies in the client computers which contains information about the website. Cookies allow web browsers to open the webpages of already visited sites faster because of the information stored in them.
Cookies can be divided into two categories:
- First-Party Cookies: First-party cookies are the files that automatically get stored in computers. First-party cookies are sent by the websites only when users purposely visit them. For example if a user visits www.yahoo.com cookies of Yahoo site will be stored in the computer automatically because the user has purposely visited the site. First-party cookies do not store users’ personal information, such as their names, e-mail addresses and other identification information, for advertisements and promotional activities. In this aspect first-party cookies are considered harmless.
- Third-Party Cookies: Third-party cookies, on the other hand, are the ones that are automatically stored on the computers even if the users have not visited the sites deliberately. For example, if a user visits a site and along with the webpage another pop-up window appears, cookies for that pop-up window also gets stored automatically. Such cookies are known as third-party cookies and in some cases these unwanted cookie files forward users personal information to the site owners who can use the information for promotional activities and advertisements.
Although cookies are automatically handled by Windows 7 operating system but the default settings can still be overridden by the users to handle first-party and third-party cookies as per their own preferences. This process is known as ‘overriding automatic cookie handling’. This configuration is important in both home and production environments where computers are connected to the Internet almost around the clock.
On one side cookies play a noble role while accessing the Internet, there might be times when users might get several unwanted promotional mails. Sometimes they may also get redirected to the sites that they never wanted to visit. When this happens users must delete cookies from the computers in order to make operating systems and web browsers behave normally and give expected outputs.
In order to delete cookies from a Windows 7 computer, users must follow the steps given as below:
- Log on to Windows 7 computer.
- Click Start and at the bottom of the menu, in the search box type Internet Options and hit Enter key.
- On Internet Properties box, make sure that General tab is selected and under Browsing history section click Delete button.
- On the opened Delete Browsing History box, uncheck all the checkboxes except Cookies, and click Delete button.
- Once deleted, back on Internet Properties box, click OK button to close the box and if required restart the web browser.