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Computing (FOLDOC) dictionary
HTTP cookie
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World-Wide Web A packet of information sent by an HTTPserver to a World-Wide Web browser and then sent back by
the browser each time it accesses that server. Cookies can
contain any arbitrary information the server chooses and are
used to maintain state between otherwise stateless HTTP
transactions. Typically this is used to authenticate or
identify a registered user of a web site without requiring
them to sign in again every time they access that site. Other
uses are, e.g. maintaining a "shopping basket" of goods you
have selected to purchase during a session at a site, site
personalisation (presenting different pages to different
users), tracking a particular user's access to a site.