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I was just wondering, what do you lose by having cookies on? I used to think there was a chance of getting viruses, but that is apparently not the case as you would have to execute the cookie yourself and it would have to be a very small script.

So if it's not to block viruses, why would you need to disable them?

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closed as not constructive by Xavierjazz, Nicole Hamilton, TFM, ChrisF, Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Feb 2 '13 at 17:07

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There is a plethora of information on this already on the web, a simple google will proivde you with many many opinions on this subject. – mdpc Feb 2 '13 at 3:45
@mdpc Searching for why disable cookies I get guides on how to disable cookies, and one relevant result that just suggests addons for Firefox that prevent cookies, and a small amount of information about it. I came here for a second opinion. – Piccolo Feb 2 '13 at 3:58
Since you had false assumptions on what the cookies were for, why not start with What are browser cookies?? That way, you can conclude yourself whether you should disable them or not. – TFM Feb 2 '13 at 6:49
up vote 4 down vote accepted

The main reason to block cookies is to prevent tracking cookies.

With tracking cookies enabled you get things like:

  1. Search for a birthday present. Wife logs in on the same computer and gets lots of targeted adds for that or very similar items.
  2. You Google for a specific item and buy it. The next months you get an overdose of adds for an item which you already actively looked for and already bought.
  3. You simply do not like others to track your every move from website to website.

Ofc, there is quite a difference between tracking cookies and so called functional cookies (e.g. cookies to remember preferences set for a webpage, one of the very things why cookies where created). However these days cookies simply get abused and the default setting should be to disabled them except for a very small number of white-listed sites.

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What about for login pages? Wouldn't it have a negative effect if the login page used cookies? You would have to log in very often, and I don't think most forums (and the like) would even work. – Piccolo Feb 2 '13 at 3:31
Log-in pages fall under functional cookies. – Hennes Feb 2 '13 at 3:39
+1, however, it's worth pointing out how third party cookies work. Google doesn't just set a cookie and any website picks that up willy nilly. A lot of non-tech savvy people this is how it works, which has led to Europe making web developers notify about cookies because suddenly there's a war on cookies. Anyway, the answer here is pretty useful:… – MyNameWouldGoHere Jan 5 at 15:24

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