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What is a Cookie?

A cookie is a message given to a web browser by a Web server. The message is then stored by the browser in a text file called cookie.txt. Each time the browser requests a page from the server, this message is sent back. A cookie's main objective is to identify users and personalise their visit by customising web pages for them for example by welcoming them by name next time they visit the same site. A site using cookies will usually invite you to provide personal information such as your name, e-mail address and interests.

Further information:

Scottish Information Commissioner's page on cookies

Information Commissioner's Office

All About Cookies