Cookies are text files stored on your computer by Web sites that you visit. They're normally used to store specific Web site settings, such as preferred language and current location. Whenever you revisit a Web site, the browser accesses the relevant cookie and sends the information to that site.

In addition to Web-site settings, cookies can also store personal information like your name, e-mail and home address, and phone number. The good news is that this can only happen if you provide the data to the Web site (for example, in an online form) [source: Firefox Help].

Unfortunately, a malicious Web site may use cookies to track your browsing history and habits, online purchases, or other personal information. Fortunately, you can eliminate the problem by deleting the cookies on your computer.

Here's how to delete cookies in Internet Explorer 8:

  1. Exit IE 8 and close any open Windows Explorer windows.
  2. Click Start on the Windows desktop.
  3. Type inetcpl.cpl in the Start Search box (Vista) or Run box (XP).
  4. Press Enter to open the Internet Properties dialog box with the General tab showing.
  5. Select Delete in the Browsing History section. This will open the Delete Browsing History dialog box.
  6. Make sure the Cookies check box is the only one selected
  7. Click Delete [source: Microsoft Support].

Here's how to delete cookies in Firefox 3.5 and 3.6:

  1. Click Options in the Tools menu.
  2. Click the Privacy tab.
  3. Select Use custom settings for history in the Firefox will: drop down list.
  4. Select the Show Cookies button to open the Cookies dialog box.
  5. Click Remove all [source: Firefox Help].

Here's how to delete cookies in Google Chrome:

  1. Click the wrench icon at the far right side of toolbar.
  2. Choose Options.
  3. Click the Under the Hood tab.
  4. Select Content settings in the Privacy section.
  5. Click Cookies under Features.
  6. Click Show cookies and other site data.
  7. Click Remove all [source: Google Chrome Help].