They are not bad

When browsing the web one uses a web browser. This is a program that reads and renders a computer language called HTTP variation. Because the entire world is on the Internet, it not practical for a web site to store information on every user. In fact, it's impractical for web sites to store information on any user.

To store information about the end user, web sites use HTTP Cookies. Cookies are small pieces of data or code that the web site needs.

For example, a web site like TV Guide will need to know where you live, your cable TV provider or satellite TV provider in order to show you what is on your television. To do that the TV Guide web site sets a cookie with that information on your computer. The next time you visit TV Guide you do not have to re-enter that information.

Your bank, brokerage firm, investment firm or credit card company may also set a cookie that identifies your computer and sets an encryption code unique to you.

A number of years ago cookies received a bad reputation when a number of viruses spread through code in a cookie. All modern web browsers protect against malicious cookies. Cookies no longer present a problem if you keep your browser current.

All modern browsers also contain a cookie editor that allows you to view cookies and delete those you don't want. Generally this is in the Tools menu.

Your web experience will be better if you simply allow all cookies and check them once a year or delete them all once a year and start over. Your browser will NOT accept malicious cookies.