Cookies have been with us since the Internet first started becoming a popular haven for us surfers to glean information from sources worldwide. For the most part, cookies are viewed as simple text files that track our browsing habits, maintain passwords used to access some Web sites, and also may be needed to conduct online purchases on some sites. Over the years there has been much debate on how useful cookies really are, how they could be used to attack our system, or have also been criticized as an invasion of our privacy.

The CEO of Symantic Corp., John Thompson, is now suggesting that cookies should be looked at more closely and maybe should come with some type of a warning notice before being accepted by a user. Good point. Though we users can control the acceptance or rejection in our browser settings for cookies and also having the ability to clear cookies from our systems at will, the concern is that some users may not be familiar with the procedures. I recently received an email from a old client, asking me for the procedures on how to clear cookies since he had forgotten how to do it.

There are many Web sites that explain how to dump cookies in IE or Firefox and one need only do a Google to locate the proper procedure.

So what do you think? Are cookies dangerous? Should they come with some type of a notification before a user accepts them onto their system?

Comments welcome.

[tags]cookies, dangers, symantec, notification, [/tags]