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What You Need To Know About Cookies
What are cookies?
Cookies are small text files that contain information relevant to a particular site. This might be information such as your username, the fact that you're logged in, the merchandise you've added to your shopping cart, your account number, or other information. Only the site that creates a particular cookie can view it - so, LiveJournal can retrieve LiveJournal cookies, but it can't retrieve your Amazon cookies.
Are they an invasion of privacy?
Why are they used?
Why have I been asked to delete my cookies?
For some reason, a LiveJournal cookie is causing or compounding a problem. For instance, you may have deleted your account and remained logged in under the deleted username, and this may cause problems with logging in under a different username later. Usually the cookie itself is not the problem, but the cookie in combination with another unusual situation is creating a difficulty. In this situation it may be helpful to go into the cookie files and delete cookies manually.
How do I do it?
There are two ways of doing it. You can manually delete just the problem cookie, or you can delete all your cookies.
Many online guides will tell you to delete all your cookies in the event of cookie-related problems. They say this because it's a simple thing to do. However, you should be aware that doing this will effectively log you out of all your regular haunts. If there is any service you use regularly for which you do not have a record of your username and password, it would be a bad idea to delete all your cookies. At the very least, you should go to those sites, make sure they have your current email address, and have them send you your password prior to deleting your cookies.
Alternatively, you can just delete LiveJournal cookies. This takes a couple of extra steps, but those extra steps may well be worth the trouble.
Specific instructions for deleting your cookies vary from browser to browser. I have instructions available for the browsers listed below. If your browser is not listed, you might like to try searching your favourite search engine for [browser name]+[operating system]+cookie+delete.
Many thanks to mortaine and xenofalcon, who have added their knowledge of Linux browsers, and rahaeli who looked over these documents.
Deleting Cookies: Windows: Internet Explorer
Deleting Cookies: Windows: Netscape
Deleting Cookies: Windows: AOL
Deleting Cookies: Windows: Opera and Mozilla
Deleting Cookies: Macintosh: Internet Explorer, Netscape and Opera
Deleting Cookies: Linux: Mozilla .9.9 and 1.01, by Mortaine
Deleting Cookies: Linux: Galeon 1.2, by Xenofalcon
Last Updated: 23 December, 2002