Tip Thursday - Cookies

Welcome to Tech Insider’s Tip Thursday, in which we bring you computing tips and computing information you can easily apply at your desktop.

This week: cookies.

By now most of us know that Web sites deposit little chunks of themselves onto your hard drive. So-called cookies aren’t executable programs (one less thing to worry about), but they track your surfing habits.

Cookies can be good, such as allowing an email provider like Yahoo! to deposit a cookie on your drive so that you won’t have to continually re-log back in. Cookies can go bad, such as when third-party Web advertisers place a cookie on your machine to monitor your Web surfing habits.

People have different tolerances for cookies. Set your own tolerance level in Internet Explorer by going to Tools, choosing Internet Options from the drop down menu, and clicking the Privacy tab.

Then, hit the Advanced button. Check the white box that says Override automatic cookie handling. If you always want to personally approve each cookie, choose the prompt setting for both the First party Cookie and Third party Cookie settings. Don't forget to hit OK.