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Online Security: Cookies and Web Beacons
A cookie is a small text file that is stored on a user's computer for record keeping purposes. Cookies can be either session cookies or persistent cookies. A session cookie expires when you close your browser and is used to make it easier for you to navigate our website. A persistent cookie remains on your hard drive for an extended period of time.
Through the use of a cookie, we also may automatically collect information about your online activity on our site, such as the web pages you visit, the links you click, and the searches you conduct on our site.
You may delete or decline cookies by changing your browser settings. (Click 'Help' in the toolbar of most browsers for instructions.) If you do so, some of the features and services of our website may not function properly.
Web beacons (also known as clear gifs, pixel tags or web bugs) are tiny graphics with a unique identifier, similar in function to cookies, and are used to track the online movements of web users or to access cookies. Unlike cookies which are stored on the user's computer hard drive, web beacons are embedded invisibly on the web pages (or in email) and are about the size of the period at the end of this sentence.
Web beacons may be used to deliver or communicate with cookies, to count users who have visited certain pages and to understand usage patterns. We also may include web beacons in promotional -- or other -- e-mail messages or newsletters to determine whether messages have been opened and acted upon. We also may receive an anonymous identification number if you come to our site from an online advertisement displayed on a third-party website.