What is a cookie?
A cookie is a small text file that is stored in your browser when you visit almost all websites. The main purpose of cookies is to enable the website to remember your visit when you browse this page again. A lot of people don’t know it, but cookies have been around for 20 years when they were used in the first browsers for the World Wide Web.
What are cookies NOT?
They are not viruses, worms or trojans. They are not spam, or spyware and they don’t open pop-ups.
What kind of information do cookies store?
Cookies do not usually store sensitive information about you, such as your credit card or bank details, photographs, your identify document or personal information, etc. The data stored is technical in nature, such as personal preferences, content customisation, etc.
The web server associates your web browser rather than you as an individual. In fact, if you browse a website regularly using Internet Explorer and then browse the same website with Firefox or Chrome, the website will not realise that it is you because it only recognises your browser, not you as a person.
What type of cookies are there?
- Technical cookies: These are the most basic cookies, and, among other things, they can detect whether a human or an automatic application is browsing, when a user is browsing anonymously or is registered, all basic tasks for the functioning of all dynamic websites.
- Analytical cookies: They collect information about the type of browsing, the most frequently used sections, products consulted, time zone, language, etc.
- Advertising cookies: They are used to show you advertising based on your browsing habits, your country and language, etc.
What are own and third-party cookies?
Own cookies are those generated by the page you are visiting while third parties are generated by external services and suppliers such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc.
What happens if I disable cookies?
Here are some examples of what will happen if you disable cookies:
- You will not be able to share the contents of this website on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social networks.
- The website will not be able to customise the contents to your personal preferences, as usually happens with online stores.
- You will not be able to access your personal area on this website, such as My account, My profile or My orders.
- Online stores: You will not be able to make online purchases. You will have to use the telephone or visit the physical store if one exists.
- You will not be able to customise your geographic preferences such as time zone, currency or language.
- The website will not be able to analyse visitors and web traffic, which will hinder its competitiveness.
- You will not be able to write in the blog or upload photos, post comments, rate or score contents. The website will not know whether you are a human or an automatic app publishing spam.
- It will not be possible to show you targeted advertising, which will reduce the website’s advertising revenue.
Can I delete cookies?
Yes. Not only can you delete them, but you can also block them, either in general or for a specific domain.
To deletecookies from a website, open your browser settings and find the ones associated with the domain in question to delete.
Cookies settings for the most popular browsers
The following are instructions for finding a specific cookie in the Chrome browser. Note: these steps may vary according to the browser version:
- Go to Settings or Preferences via the File menu or by clicking on 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.
- You will see a list of all cookies sorted by domain. To make it easier for you to find cookies for a particular domain, enter part or all of the address in the Search cookies field.
- After entering this filter, one or more lines with the cookies of the requested website will appear on the screen. Now all you have to do is select it and press X to delete it.
To access your Internet Explorer browser’s cookie settings, follow these steps (may vary depending on browser version):
- Go to Tools, Internet Options
- Click on Privacy.
- Move the slider to set the privacy level you want.
To access your Firefox browser’s cookie settings, follow these steps (may vary depending on browser version):
- Go to Options or Preferences depending on your operating system.
- Click on Privacy.
- Under History choose Use custom settings for history.
- You will now see the Accept cookies option. You can enable or disable it according to your preferences.
To access the cookie settings in the Safari browser for OSX follow these steps (may vary depending on browser version).
- Go to Preferences, then Privacy.
- You will see the Block cookies option so that you can adjust the type of blocking you want to do.
To access the cookie settings in the Safari browser for iOS, follow these steps (they may vary depending on the browser version):
- Go to Settings, then Safari.
- Go to Privacy and Security, to find Block cookies and adjust the type of blocking you want.
To access the browser cookie settings for Android devices, follow these steps (may vary depending on the browser version):
- Open 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 the box.
To access your browser cookie settings for Windows Phone devices, follow these steps (may vary depending on browser version):
- Open Internet Explorer, then More, then Settings.
- You can now enable or disable the Allow cookies checkbox.