A cookie is a text-only string of information that a website transfers to the cookie file of the browser of your computer’s hard disk so that the website can remember who you are and other details. Cookies may be set by a website or originate with third parties, such as advertisers. A cookie itself is not designed or intended to read any information from a user’s computer (other than the contents of the cookie). A cookie is simply an identifier used by the website that originally placed it on your hard drive. The actual contents of the cookie information can be retrieved by the same server to identify the computer and subsequently to customize, track, or regulate the use of a site based on information stored on the host server.
For more information on how to disable cookies you should consult the documentation or instructions that accompanied your web browser or by visiting the Federal Trade Commission website.