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Cookies and Your Privacy

A cookie is a small text file that is placed on your computer by a Web site that you visit. Cookies improve your Web surfing experience by making it more convenient. Although using cookies may raise some Web surfers' concerns about privacy and security, these are best addressed by your Privacy Policy and understanding how cookies work.

How Does a Cookie Work?
When you visit a Web site your browser connects to the sites Web server or computer where the Web files are stored. The Web server then sends these files (or pages) to your browser; which, in turn, interprets the code and displays the Web page. Sometimes, the server may also send a small text file or cookie. The cookie contains information that the server can use to identify your browser.

Your Web browser sends the cookie to the server each time you revisit the site from the same computer. The server recognizes you from this cookie. This is how BWE's Visitor Tracking Module can "remember" a visitor when they return to the site.

Why Use a Cookie?
Cookies are used because they provide visitors to your site with special features. They can welcome back visitors by name like in BWE's Visitor Tracking Module (VTM) or let you personalize your Web browsing experience to your own tastes.

Do Cookies Really Pose a Security or Privacy Threat?
The information that a cookie contains might be a random user code or id number that only identifies your browser, NOT you. However, cookies can store personal information like your name or email address IF you provide this information to the site yourself. Cookies do not have the ability to read other files on your computer, get other personal information from your computer, or transmit viruses.

Visitors to your site cannot tell if cookies are being used. Furthermore, your Web browser's default settings don't tell you when a site is sending you a cookie or the information in the cookie. Therefore, if your site uses cookies, it is important to have a privacy policy.

Your Privacy Policy
If your site uses cookies make sure that your privacy policy is current and accurate. Explain why you use cookies and how the information that is stored will be used. BWE offers all of its design clients a privacy policy template to use. If you have questions about your site and the use of cookies, let us know.

You can find out more information about cookies at www.cookiecentral.com.

Date: 11.12.2001

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