No Cookie!

But cookies are good for you!

Some people have set their web browser to not accept cookies. Others lose cookies because of over-zealous firewall settings, either because the maker of the firewall software decided this would be a good idea (it's not!) or because they set the firewall that way themselves.

There is no good reason to fear cookies. Cookies are simply little chunks of text that are stored within your browser. Nothing more. The idea is very simple. You can't send a web site a cookie, but a web site can send you a cookie, and once it does, that website (and no other) can get it back again if it wants it. But only while you are actually on the web site.

Cookies have these important parts:

  1. A name
  2. Some content
  3. A time that it should expire.

The Cookie's Name

The name of the cookie, is sent by the web site.

The name is used to retrieve the cookie later.

Only the user of your browser (by looking with the browser's "cookie settings" function) and the web site that sent the cookie can see this name.

The Cookie's Content

In addition to a name, each cookie has text which is considered the cookie's content. When the web site that put the cookie in your browser looks for a cookie by name, it can retrieve the content it originally put in that specific cookie.

For instance, we (Stormer Hobbies) send a cookie named 'cartnumber' when you first open a shopping cart. Later, when we need to know what shopping cart we opened for you on our site, we retrieve the cookie we put in your browser called 'cartnumber' which (surprise!) contains the number of the shopping cart.

Only the user of your browser (by looking with the browser's "cookie settings" function) and the web site that sent the cookie can see this content.

The Cookie's Expiration Time

In addition to the name and content, cookies always contain an expiration rule - even if the web site that sent the cookie didn't specify one. Without a specific time being set, the cookie will go away when you close your browser. So no worries there. Otherwise, the cookie will go away under one of two conditions: First, if you exceed the number of cookies your browser can hold (typically, that's 300 cookies, which may or may not be from different web sites) then the oldest cookies will be disposed of. Secondly, when a cookie reaches its expiration time, it will automatically be disposed of by the browser.

Our Cookies

We send these cookies:

  1. A cookie called "cartnumber" that contains a decimal number which lets us know which shopping cart is yours. This cookie will expire (be automatically removed) after 48 hours. Why? We figure that if you haven't come back to your shopping cart by the time two days have passed, you've forgotten about your shopping cart.

  2. A cookie called "cartkey" which contains a special string of letters and numbers that is mathematically related to the number stored in the "cartnumber" cookie. What we do is take the "cartnumber" value, then using a special mathematical process, we re-generate the special string from the "cartnumber" and then match it against the string in the "cartkey" cookie. If they match, we can be sure that the shopping cart number stored in your browser is the one we put there. This prevents people from editing the cookies we sent so they contain different shopping cart numbers, and then being able to look into someone else's shopping cart.

What about security?

Since the cookie's name, content and expiration time all came from the web site you are visiting, and can only be retrieved by that same web site, no portion of the cookie could possibly contain any information about you that you didn't already give to the web site. So there is no security risk there.

Remember, only the web site that sent the cookie, can get the cookie back later. And any information that was put in that cookie by this web site, it already had - you're not exposing any new information to the site. If you don't want a web site to have specific information about you, simply do not provide that information to the site.

The only possible legitimate concern there is about cookies is this: If you do choose to give personal information to a web site, and that web site (unwisely) stores that information in a cookie, someone who has physical access to your computer could view the information stored in your cookies. However, given that this issue only exists when a person has access to your computer, you shouldn't be worrying about the cookies. You should be worrying about access to your computer, instead. No doubt there are far more sensitive materials on your computer than your cookies, such as your financial records, passwords, personal letters and so on. Think about it!

With regard to the cookies Stormer Hobbies sends to your browser, as you can see from the detailed explanation above, we don't place any personal information in a cookie. So you have absolutely nothing to worry about when our site provide cookies to your browser.

So... how can I shop at Stormer Hobbies?

You have two choices. You can enable cookies in your browser and/or your firewall, or you can place your order by telephone. We suggest you enable cookies; virtually every store on the Internet needs for you to have cookies turned on if you are going to shop online. It's quite safe and will enormously enhance your online experience. But of course, it is your decision, and yours alone. You can always call us on the telephone!

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