A cookie is a small amount of data that is transferred to your browser by a web server and can only be read by the website that gave it to you. It functions as your identification card. It is not a program and cannot be executed as code or deliver viruses.
Cookies can also customize the site to your particular interests or store your personal information – like passwords or user IDs. If a site ever greets you with your name, chances are it’s using a cookie to do so.
Most browsers are initially set to accept cookies. You can set your browser to notify you when you receive a cookie – this gives you the chance to decide whether to accept it or not. To learn more about cookies and how to change your settings, please use the help function in your browser. The alerts will be quite frequent, however, and may eventually become annoying.
You can use the Canadian Cancer Society website without cookies, but you may have to re-enter information each time you visit.