System: Windows XP Home Edition SP 2 IE 7 higher than default security settings. Right now I'm not 'in the mood' to switch to IE 8. I know it's a bit of a silly question. Usually I have the browser set to allow direct cookies, block indirect cookies, box for session cookies unticked. That works without any real problems. Basically, I'm used to this configuration. But recently I noticed that I can ALMOST ALWAYS browse the internet while blocking direct cookies without any problems. I can log into wilders (for which I have an existing cookie) and I can search the web and access most websites without any problems. There is a statement on www.grc.com that IE 7 does not handle cookies properly. If I try : www.grc.com/cookies/forensics.htm (with direct cookies blocked) my browser sometimes passes the test, sometimes it doesn't. Inconsistent. Pros and cons of blocking direct cookies ? I know you may need to allow cookies for shopping carts. To what extent do cookies affect privacy ? Web bugs, web beacons ? I know of one or two tricks to have IE 7 handle third party cookies as direct cookies, but I usually can't find such cookies on my system. Are they outside the regular cookie folder ?