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Since HTTP is a “stateless” (non-persistent) protocol, it is impossible to differentiate between visits to a web site, unless the server can somehow “mark” a visitor. This is done by storing a piece of information in the visitor’s browser.

– David Whalen; The Unofficial Cookie FAQ; May 10, 1999.

Cookies are small text files a web site puts on your computer to store information about your browsing that the site can access at later sessions. The following sections provide more information.

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