Lynn Wants To Know Why Websites Say Her Cookies Are Not Turned On
I'm wondering why some websites are telling me that my cookies are not turned on when they ARE. I can't get on Michigan Live or E-Bay because they both tell me the same thing. Do you know what could be causing this? Thank you, Lynn

Show your cookies a picture of a scantily-clad glass of milk - that should turn them on. No seriously, we're thinking what is happening to you is that you have some sort of Internet security program, anti-spyware program, or firewall program which is configured to block cookies.

Let's face it: the Internet security, firewall and anti-spyware software business is a highly competitive one with each company trying to grab its share of the big pie. When you're competing with Symantec (Norton), McAfee and Microsoft, you've got some real competition. Norton/McAfee think that cookies are enigmatic, despicable demon devices that skulk around and infect your computer with all sorts of stealthy naughty things. This is simply not true despite what some so-called "computer experts" tell you. And speaking of computer experts, they tell you all the dastardly deeds cookies can perform because the "computer expert" business is highly competitive too. Since the general consensus among these mostly self-proclaimed computer experts is that cookies are made from a recipe devised by the devil himself, they clamor on about how bad they are. Yawn! One of the tips/tricks today is called "Good Cookie/Bad Cookie" and it was written by us. Are we computer experts? Hmmm, I don't know, we've never proclaimed ourselves to be - but we've survived a lot of years and learned a lot of things - even though we don't have a lot (we don't have any <grin>) initials after our names. What we do know we pass on to you. When we don't know something we research it well and learn. But, cookies? We know them very well!

Anyway, getting back to the topic at hand, since McAfee and Norton have a gazillion dollars to spend on advertising so the other companies, even the smallest of them, have to show they're "as good" or they cannot survive very long. So, given the fact that 22% of the computers which are connected to the Internet have no spyware on them at all (but 78% do) - these companies follow the lead of Norton/McAfee and so now all Anti-spyware program (even those that we endorse and recommend) identify "tracking cookies" - and lump them with spyware/malware/badware. Are they correct? Absolutely not. But when you're in a competitive business you have to do as the leaders do and the leaders do lump "tracking cookies" with spyware/adware/badware.  So, now we have a confusing mess. Most people are confused enough about adware/spyware/viruses/Trojans/worms/keyloggers/hijackers without having to understand why cookies CANNOT be spyware/adware/badware. And it doesn't help much when the Web is replete with self-proclaimed computer experts ranting and raving about the dangers and nefariousness of cookies. But they're wrong. Cookies are not spyware/adware/badware or even "tracking-ware". Believe us or not; it's true.

So, we'd suggest that you start looking at programs you've installed which are in the "Internet Security", "Firewall", or "Anti-Spyware" category and take a good look at the user-configurable settings. Many of these types of programs are set by default to block cookies. And tell the program - "Hey! I know more than you! I want my cookies!" And, when you're successful at controlling the program (or programs you've installed) instead of letting them control you, you'll be wiser and happier. And, you won't have any problems logging on to E-Bay or Michigan Live. (Go Bucks! - I'm from Ohio you know :-) )

And, I've still never met a cookie I didn't like, but I still like Oreos™ and chocolate chip the best - even though I can't eat them anymore :-( .

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