What exactly does disabling cookies on Safari do?

by on December 15, 2010

Q: If someone could give me a definitive answer to a simple question for computer person but for me a little too complicated.

By disabling the cookies acceptance on Safari, does that mean that websites are unable to see who you are and cannot access your computer?


One Response to “What exactly does disabling cookies on Safari do?”
  1.  
    Picked as best answer

    There are a lot of big misconceptions about what cookies are.

    A cookie is just some text that is stored on your computer for a short period of time by a website. Generally this is used for things like shopping carts in on-line web stores, and keeping you from needing to login to a website every single time you visit.

    You’re welcome to disable cookies on your browser for a few days to see how your experience changes. If anything you’ll loose some convenience. Some websites won’t work properly without cookies enabled.

    As far as being unable to see who you are, cookies don’t have anything to do with that.

    Any website you connect to will know your IP Address, if it doesn’t know your IP address, the website can’t send you web pages. With an IP address, some general location information can be easily determined. For an example of what info available about you to any website you visit, take a look at these two websites:

    http://whatismyipaddress.com/
    http://supportdetails.com/

    An IP address can only be used to determine who someone is if a request is made to your internet service provider(ISP). So for example if someone tried to sell stolen property on craigslist, local law enforcement can get the IP Address of the poster from craigslist, then give that IP Address to the thief’s ISP, and then know the internet account name/ address of the thief.

    If you’d like to read more, you can read this article on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTTP_cookie