What is a cookie?
A cookie is a harmless small text file that is stored in your browser when you visit almost any web page. The purpose of a cookie is that is allows the website to be able to remember your visit when you return to browse that page. Although most people do not know it, cookies have been used for 20 years, since the first World Wide Web browsers appeared
What is not a cookie?
It is not a virus, nor a Trojan, worm, spam, or spyware, and it does not open pop-up windows.
What information does a cookie store?
Cookies do not usually store sensitive information about you, such as credit card or bank details, photographs, your ID or personal information, etc. The information they store is of a technical nature, personal preferences, personalisation of content, etc. The information they store is of a technical nature, personal preferences, personalisation of content, etc.
The web server does not see you as a person but rather focuses on your web browser. In fact, if you regularly surf with Internet Explorer and try browsing the same web with Firefox or Chrome you will see that the web does not realise that you are the same person because it is focusing on the browser, not the person.
What types of cookies are there?
- Technical cookies: These are the most basic cookies and allow us to know, among other things, when a human or an automated application is browsing, and when an anonymous user or a registered user is browsing, which are basic tasks for the operation of any dynamic web.
- Analysis cookies: These collect information about your type of browsing, the sections you use most, products consulted, time zone of use, language, etc.
- Advertising cookies: These show advertising according to your browsing activity, your country of origin, language, etc.
What are proprietary cookies and third-party cookies?
Proprietary cookies are those generated by the page you are visiting and third-party cookies are those generated by external services or providers such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc.
What happens if i disable the cookies?
To understand the effects of disabling the cookies, here are a few examples:
- You will not be able to share content from that website on Facebook, Twitter or any other social network.
- The website will not be able to adapt the contents to your personal preferences, as is often the case in on-line stores.
- You will not be able to access the personal area of that website, such as My account, or My profile or My orders.
- On-line stores: You will not be able to make purchases on-line, but rather will have to make them by telephone or in person at the store, if there is one available.
- It will not be possible to customise your geographical preferences, such as time zone, currency or language.
- The website will not be able to perform web analytics on web visitors and traffic, which will make it difficult for the page to be competitive.
- You will not be able to write on the blog, upload photos, post comments, evaluate or rate content. Neither will the site be able to know if you are a human or an automated application that publishes spam.
- You will not be able to show categorised advertising, which will reduce the advertising revenues of the webpage.
Can cookies be deleted?
Yes. Not only deleted, also blocked, in general or in a particular way for a specific domain.
To delete cookies from a website you must go to your browser settings and there you can search for those associated with the relevant domain and proceed remove them.
Configuration of cookies for the most popular browsers
Here is how to access a specific cookie from a Chrome browser. Note: These steps may vary depending on your browser version:
- Go to Settings or Preferences using the File menu or by clicking the customisation icon at the top right.
- You will see different sections, click on Show advanced options.
- Go to Privacy, Content Settings.
- Select All cookies and site data.
- A list with all the cookies sorted by domain will appear. To make it easier for you to find the cookies for a particular domain, enter the address, in whole or in part, in the Search for cookies
- After applying this filter, one or more lines with the cookies of the requested website will appear on the screen. Now you just have to select it and press the X to delete it.
To access the cookies settings of the Internet Explorer browser, follow these steps (they may vary depending on the version of the browser):
- Go to Tools, Internet Options
- Click on Privacy.
- Move the slider to set the level of privacy you want.
To access the cookies settings of the Firefox browser, follow these steps (these may vary depending on the version of the browser):
- Go to Options or Preferences depending on your operating system.
- Click on Privacy.
- In History, select Use custom settings for history.
- You will now see the Accept cookies option, which you may activate or disable according to your preferences.
To access the cookies settings of the Safari for OSX browser, follow these steps (these may vary depending on the version of the browser):
- Go to Preferences, then Privacy.
- Here you will see the Block cookies option to adjust the type of block you want to perform.
To access the cookies settings of the Safari for iOS browser, follow these steps (these may vary depending on the version of the browser):
- Go to Settings, then Safari.
- Go to Privacy and Security, you will see the Block cookies option to adjust the type of block you want to perform.
To access the cookies settings of the browser for Android devices, follow these steps (these may vary depending on the version of the browser):
- Run the browser and press the Menu key, then Settings.
- Go to Security and Privacy, you will see the Accept cookiesoption to enable or disable the box.
To access the cookies settings of the browser for Windows Phone devices, follow these steps (these may vary depending on the version of the browser):
- Open Internet Explorer, then More, then Settings
- Now you can enable or disable the Allow cookies