What is a cookie?
A cookie is a harmless text file that is stored in your browser when you visit almost any website. The usefulness of the cookie is that the website is able to remember your visit when you return to browse that page. Although many people do not know, cookies have been used for over 20 years, when the first browsers for the World Wide Web appeared.
What is NOT a cookie?
It is not a virus, nor a Trojan, nor a worm, nor spam, nor spyware, nor opens pop-up windows.
What information does a cookie store?
Cookies usually do not store sensitive information about you, such as credit cards or bank details, photographs, IDs or personal information, etc. The data kept on cookies are of technical nature, personal preferences, personalization of contents, etc. The web server does not associate to you as a user, but to your web browser. In fact, if you regularly browse Internet Explorer and try to navigate through the same website with Firefox or Chrome you will see that the web does not realize that you are the same person because it is really associating the browser, not the person.
What kind of cookies are there?
Technical cookies: These are the most basic type of cookies which allow, among other things, to know when a human or an automated application is browsing, when an anonymous and registered user navigates, basic tasks for the operation of any dynamic web.Analysis cookies: They collect information about the type of navigation you are doing, the sections that you use the most, products consulted, time of use, language, etc.Advertising cookies: They show advertising based on your browsing, country of origin, language, etc.
What are own and third party cookies?
Own cookies are those generated by the page you are visiting and those of third parties are those generated by external services or providers such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc.
What happens if I disable cookies?
To illustrate what deactivating cookies entails, we show you the following examples:
- You will no 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 their personal preferences, as is often the case in online stores.
- You will not be able access the personal area of that website, such as My account, My profile or My orders.
- Online stores will not allow you to make online purchases.
- It will not be possible to customize your geographical preferences as a time zone, currency or language.
- The website will not be able to perform web analytics on visitors and traffic on the web, which will make it difficult for the website to be competitive
- You will not be able to write on the blog, upload photos, post comments, review or rate content. The web will not be able to know if you are a human or an automated application that publishes spam.
- It will not be possible to show you sectorized advertising, which will reduce the advertising income of the web.
Can cookies be deleted?
Yes. Not only cookies can be deleted, but they also may be blocked for a specific domain or in general. To remove cookies from a website you have to go to your browser’s configuration where you can search the cookies associated to the domain in question and proceed to its elimination.
Setting cookies for the most popular browsers
Here’s how to access a specific cookie from the Chrome browser. Note: these steps may vary depending on your browser version:
- Go to Settings or Preferences through the File menu or by clicking the personalization icon that appears at the top right.
- You will see different sections, click the option Show advanced options.
- Go to Privacy, Content Settings.
- Select All cookies and site data.
- A list with all the cookies ordered by domain will appear. To make it easier for you to find the cookies of a certain domain, enter the address partially or completely in the Search cookies field.
- After completing this filter, one or several lines with the cookies of the requested web appear on the screen. Now, you just have to select it and press the X to proceed with its elimination.
To access the browser settings of the Internet Explorer browser follow these steps (they may vary depending on your browser version):
Go to Tools, Internet Options
Click on Privacy.
Move the slider to adjust the level of privacy you want.
To access the cookie settings of the Firefox browser follow these steps (they may vary depending on the version of your browser):
Go to Options or Preferences according to your operating system.
Click on Privacy.
Under History choose Use custom settings for history.
Now you will see the Accept cookies option. You can activate or deactivate it according to your preferences.
To access the cookie settings of the Safari browser for OSX follow these steps (they may vary depending on your browser version):
Go to Preferences, then Privacy.
You will see the option Block cookies, here you can select the type of privacy you would like to have.
To access the cookie settings of the Safari browser for iOS follow these steps (they may vary depending on the version of your browser):
Go to Settings, then Safari.
Go to Privacy and Security, you will see the option Block cookies, here you can select the type of privacy you would like to have.
To access the browser cookie settings for an Android device, follow these steps (they may vary depending on your browser version):
Run the browser and press the Menu key, then Settings.
Go to Security and Privacy, you will see the Accept cookies option to activate or deactivate them.
To access the browser cookie settings for a Windows Phone device, follow these steps (they may vary depending on your browser version):
Open Internet Explorer, click on More, then click on Settings
You can now activate or deactivate cookies by clicking Allow.