You may have noticed this is not a cooking blog. While I'd love to extol the virtues of my preferred cookies: the edible ones; today I'll be dishing out the scoop on digital cookies.
So what are cookies? Essentially they are just files stored on your computer from a website you have visited. These little files allow the sites you visit to alter your experience. To go back to edible cookies...if you visit a cooking site and your main interest is sugar cookies, then cookies from the site on your computer will recommend more sugar cookie recipes based on your previous viewing. Cookies about cookies....cookieception.
But it's not all cute puns and tiny, insubstantial files. Cookies have gotten a bad rep lately because of tracking cookies. These malicious files follow your activity even off the associated site, and are the reason you may have gotten a dozen spam emails about a free yacht after looking up boat prices somewhere. It's gotten so invasive people openly discuss the creepier elements of online data gathering, with cookies dead-center of the scandal.
So are cookies bad or good?
It depends greatly on the context. If you want a streamlined experience shopping or browsing your favorite sites, cookies help you perform that with minimal cost to your computer's running power or your privacy. That being said, from time to time I recommend a person clear their cookies and run a malware scan to ensure there's nothing malicious. And to the average business weighing the marketing pros and cons of cookies: be minimalist. If someone is open to your product or site, reward them rather than punish them for their interest, and they'll reward you back.
Also something, something, chocolate chip.