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So what happens when you go to a webpage....

First an html file gets downloaded to your browser which is basically an specialized instruction sheet, that tells the browser what to fetch (such as image files) and how to format and display everything on the page. It also has title / descriptions and keywords that are for search engine use. Not all is displayed.

If you want to see this look at the source file, there is usually that option in most browsers, in internet explorer in the menu it is under view / source.

Cookies, Browsing History, and Temporary Internet Files...

Your computer remembers...

1. Cookies

internet cookies

A Cookie is also known as an http Cookie, web cookie, internet cookie or browser cookie. It is a small piece of data that is sent from a website and stored on your computer. Now cookies cannot carry viruses or mail ware, but can provide tracking abilities.

Track me if you can

Ever noticed that after browsing lets say some hotels / travel websites, and then you go on another website and up comes an advertisement about the same hotel location or travel related, that is because the advertising code was able to reference the websites you already been too and then give you advertisements related to what you have searched for in the past. This is also referred to as targeted advertising. Those references are left behind in the form of cookies saved on your computer after browsing websites.

Those cookies provide information at what kind of searches and websites you have been looking at. There is multiple uses for internet cookies, tracking your browsing habits (often used to determine what advertising to display), remembering logins, a website can know if you have visited the site and display differently if you have, remember that you had selected some items for possible purchase and when you revisit it can remind you that you have items in your cart waiting for checkout. I have seen certain travel websites display different prices when you come back which makes you think you should have taken it the first time, however deleting the cookies may get you back to the first price you say, but what they attempt is to tune you into the habit of taking it the first time before a higher price appears.

Although internet cookies do serve a purpose but some do question it in regards to privacy. Some websites will not work properly without using them.

2. Browsing History

Every web site and every page that you visit is saved in a history file...


It is a record of every place the browser has visited, this is also the reference to know where to go when you click the back button on your browser.

3. Temporary Internet Files

All the elements of the webpage you visited gets saved such as pictures, sometimes the browser when you reload or revisit may pull some items from the local storage if no changes and not force a re-fetch from the internet.

Storage of these items is up to the storage allowed limit, which sometimes can be set in the browser settings.


Some of this can help parents find out what websites their children have been visiting, assuming they do not know yet how to delete their tracks. Read the article 'Kids / Social Media / Cyber Bullies'

The end is near

Some browsers will have a setting that you delete all of this when the browser is closed, but remember you will be going back to sites fresh, and it will not likely remember you have been there before or that you wanted to stay logged in.

In internet explorer it is under tools / internet option that you cannot delete internet temps.

Interesting web links on this subject...

http://computer. howstuffworks.com/ cookie4.htm

http://www.about cookies.org/ default.aspx?page=5

http://en.wikipedia.org /wiki/HTTP_cookie

http://wizards.custhelp .com/app/answers/ detail/a_id/1377/ ~/general%3A- cookies,-browsing-h istory,-and-t emporary-internet- files

Written: Dec. 11, 2014
By: Donald Kerr

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