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What are cookies?

If you have been on the internet very long at all you have probably heard about "cookies". A cookie is sort of like Hansel and Gretel leaving the trail of breadcrumbs so they could find their way back. Anyone walking through the forest might have seen that trail of breadcrumbs and then follow it; follow it in either direction. Internet cookies, however, can only be viewed by the website that placed them on your computer.

A cookie is a "little bit of text" that helps the website know something about your computer. One popular use of a cookie is when you go to a website and the website "remembers" that you want the weather forecast for your state, Nevada, not the forecast for Vermont. In reality, that website does not remember you at all!  What happens is that when you return to the website, your internet browser (internet explorer(r) or firefox(r) or whatever) will send that little bit of text in "the cookie" back to the website. NOW the website knows your preference for the weather forecast.

So why do we use cookies? Several reasons.

1. So that the computer running our website knows that YOU are they guy that clicked on the ad for the Kenwood radio, you are not the guy that just clicked on the ad for a capacitor.

2. Cookies are used to keep you logged in, and log you out.

3. cookies are the way the SecondHandRadio.com(tm) knows that you are uploading photos for your ad for a morse key, not for your ad for a used motor; so your photos get placed in the correct place in the database.

4. Cookies help the website to NOT show you ads you will not be interested in.

For purposes 1, 2, and 3 the cookies come from SecondHandRadio.com(tm) and no other website or user in the world can read them or even detect them. If you block these cookies, then you will eventually experience errors and website crashes. For purpose #4, the cookies come from Google(r). We use google(r) to manage most ads on our website. These cookies are placed by Google(r) on behalf of SecondHandRado.com (tm). What is the purpose of this? Well.... if you are in Montana, you certainly do not want to see ads for a coin-operated laundromat in Texas. The Google(r) cookies make that possible. These cookies for Google(r) are even fancier than that. They are called "interest based cookies". What is "interest based advertising" ? Let's say you have been visiting websites (that also use Googler(r) for their advertising service) looking at ham antennas more than you have been looking at car audio speakers; then you visit SecondHandRadio.com(tm). When visiting our site, Google(r) will try to show you ads for ham antennas and not show you ads for TV antennas or car antennas or car speakers.

They do NOT "track you" ! Keep in mind that ONLY Google(r) can read these cookies on your computer. SecondHandRadio.com(tm) can NOT read these cookies. Years ago we heard about some firms "spying on you" with cookies. If you keep your computer up-to-date and you have decent anti-virus service, than you will never be 'tracked'. Even the web browsers are helping with this. If you are curious about cookie blocking, in Internet Explorer(r) click on * tools * internet options * privacy * sites You will see that Interet Explorer(r) has already blocked many dozens of those 'bad boys'. Firefox(r) and others have a similar way of allowing you to view these blocks. Now anti-virus programs don't all automatically block 'bad cookies' for us. But they DO block any of the bad activities that evil-minded people would do with those cookies. What have I been trying to say? I don't block cookies. They are useful to me. I rely on my anti-virus program and regular computer updates to keep me out of trouble. Cookies are like stop signs and speed limits; we don't like all of them, but they are beneficial to us when placed properly! Keep your questions coming ! 73

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