HTTP cookies are character strings, assigned by your web browser and stored on your computer, to act as a form of identification. A web browser assigns them to a computer, the same way the government gives us social security numbers. They authenticate users, store preferences, like background color and text size, and act as session tokens.
For example, to access your inbox, a session is started by your browser and you are assigned cookies, so your browser knows for whom this session is for, and when it started. Managing them is left up to the user, by the web browser. Since they are highly useful and some websites won't function without them, it is important to know how to enable them in your web browser. Enabling and disabling them is a very simple and short task. But the Mac OS X is different from Windows, and hence, some management steps are different. In this article, you will learn how to enable cookies on a Mac computer.
There are at least 30 web browsers available for download and usage. Each one has a slightly different way to allow cookies. Before following any steps, please open or start the browser.
Safari is the flagship web browser for Apple computers, and is included as part of the operating system. The steps to be followed are:
- From the Safari menu, click Preferences.
- Click on the Security icon.
- In the dialog box, look for the Accept Cookies check box.
- Check the Always option.
- If you want to learn more about this technology, click Show Cookies.
- Click Close.
Internet Explorer had a separate version, IE 5, which has been discontinued. IE versions up to 5 will work on Mac but not any later versions. Follow the steps below:
- Click on the Edit option in IE toolbar.
- Click on the Preferences option.
- Click on the Receiving Files tab.
- Choose Cookies under the tab expansion.
- A drop-down list with the question "When receiving cookies:" appears on the right hand side.
- Select Never ask.
- Then, click Ok button below. Refresh browser to show changes.
All versions of Firefox are compatible with Mac. The procedure to be followed is:
- Click on Firefox in the main toolbar, and select Preferences.
- Click on the Privacy tab and use the drop down box to select "Use custom settings for history".
- Check "Accept cookies from sites".
- Check "Accept third-party cookies".
- In the "Keep until" drop down box, select "they expire" option.
- Close the window.
The Opera browser is not included with any operating system, but is open source and available for free download. It can run on a variety of machines, like Windows, Mac, Linux, and mobile phones, making it a versatile web browser. Steps:
- Click on the O icon in the Opera browser.
- Click on Settings, then, select Preferences.
- Click on the Advanced tab and select Cookies on the left side.
- Select the "Accept cookies" option.
- Click on Ok to save changes.
Initially, Google Chrome was not compatible with this machine. Now, its source code version, Chromium, is compatible with most versions. But Chrome itself will work only with Mac OS X 10.5 and later, with Intel processor. Steps:
- Select Chrome, then Preferences.
- Click the Under the Hood tab.
- Click Content Settings drop down box in the Privacy section.
- Click the Cookies tab.
- Select "Allow local data to be set" option.
- Close the window.
Camino is an open source web browser, which is designed exclusively for this machine. It integrates built-in services, like Keychain, to be used in the browser interface. It is compatible with all versions. Steps:
- Click on the Camino icon and select Preferences.
- Click on the Privacy tab.
- Check the "Accept cookies from any site" option.
- Close Preferences to reflect changes.
There are many myths and misconceptions about cookies. They do show the web pages you have visited, but they are not executable, cannot duplicate themselves, and are NOT viruses. They cannot manipulate your stored data or read the information and send it to someone. But their use cannot be debated. They allow automatic logins and remember passwords and names. When sharing a machine, you should be a little cautious about them Do not fiddle with, or delete them unnecessarily.