What are cookies?  Cookies are tiny text files that web pages leave on your computer.  They send information to a website.  They may identify your computer to a website you visit frequently.  For example, The New York Times always knows who I am and doesn't make me login every time because it keeps a cookie on my computer.  When I visit their website, they see the cookie and log me in automatically.  There are also 3rd party cookies.  If you visit a website with ads, like the New York Times, those advertisers will leave a cookie on your computer to note your visit.  Then if you visit another website the advertiser also uses, it will note the visit to that website, also.  It then sells that information.  It may also place a specific ad on that website that it believes would appeal to you. 

In the interest of complete disclosure, my website does this.  I have ads on the website for products and companies I believe in.  I put these ads in for your convenience and also to pay for my website.  Every time you purchase something after clicking on one of the ads, I receive some money (Note: it is a very small amount, often as little as 1%, and does not in any way influence my decision about what to recommend).  It never increases your price, and it sometimes will decrease your price. 

Different people have different feelings about this.  Some people don't use the little discount card at the grocery store because they don't want anyone keeping track of their purchasing habits.  I, personally, don't care.  I even appreciate not having to sift through things I would never purchase just to find the few that I would.  If you are like me, ignore cookies.  If you are paranoid, you can block 3rd party cookies. 

How much space are they using?  Very little.  Even if you have thousands of cookies they are so tiny that they use very little space.  Most people have hundreds of cookies or fewer.

So are cookies bad?  In my opinion, only if you are paranoid.  And even the most paranoid often disregard cookies.  So, block them or leave them alone at your discretion.

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