A cookie is a small piece of data that a website can send to your browser (which may then store it on your computer). Cookies are designed to save your preferences or keep track of information you have previously selected. A cookie cannot retrieve any data from your hard drive, pass on computer viruses or capture your email address.
Both Internet Explorer and Netscape allow some level of cookie verification. They both have menu options that allow you to accept all, some or none of your incoming cookies. In addition, the 'warn before accepting' feature is present in both, if you want to screen your incoming cookies.
In Netscape, go to the Edit/Preferences/Advanced menu. Your cookie choices can be changed there.
Changing cookie preferences in Internet Explorer varies depending on the version you are running: