What is a cookie?
A cookie is a harmless text file that is stored in your browser when you visit almost any web page. 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 20 years, when the first browsers for the World Wide Web appeared.
What is NOT a cookie?
It is not a virus, or a Trojan, or a worm, or spam, or spyware, or open windows pop-up.
What information does a cookie store?
Cookies usually do not store sensitive information about you, such as credit cards or bank details, photographs, your ID or personal information, etc. The data they keep are of a technical nature, personal preferences, personalization of contents, etc.
The web server does not associate you as a person, but 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 and 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 you use most, products consulted, time zone of use, language, etc.
- Advertising cookies: Display 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 understand the scope that can have disable cookies we show some examples:
- You can not 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 it usually happens in online stores.
- You can not access the personal area of that website, such as My account, or My profile or My orders.
- Online stores: It will be impossible to make purchases online, they must be by phone or visiting the physical store if you have it.
- It will not be possible to customise your geographic preferences as 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 can not write on the blog, you can not upload photos, post comments, rate 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 sectorised advertising, which will reduce the advertising revenue of the web.
Can cookies be deleted?
Yes. Not only delete, also block, in a general or particular way for a specific domain.
To remove cookies from a website you must go to the configuration of your browser and there you can search the associated to the domain in question and proceed to its removal.
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 the browser version:
- Go to Settings or Preferences through the File menu or by clicking on the personalisation 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 to find the cookies of a specific domain, enter the address partially or completely in the Search cookies field.
- After making 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 cookie settings of the Internet Explorer browser follow these steps (may vary depending on the version of the browser):
- 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 (may vary depending on the browser version):
- Go to Options or Preferences according to your operating system.
- Click on Privacy.
- In History choose Use custom settings for history.
- Now you will see the option Accept cookies, you can activate or deactivate it according to your preferences.
To access the cookies configuration of the Safari browser for OSX follow these steps (may vary depending on the version of the browser):
- Go to Preferences, then Privacy.
- In this place you will see the option Block cookies so that you can adjust the type of blocking you want to perform.
To access the cookies configuration of the Safari browser for iOS follow these steps (may vary depending on the browser version):
Go to Settings, then Safari.
Go to Privacy and Security, you will see the option Block cookies to adjust the type of block you want to make.
To access the browser cookie settings for Android devices follow these steps (may vary depending on the browser version):
- Run the browser and press the Menu key, then Settings.
- Go to Security and Privacy, you will see the option Accept cookies to activate or deactivate the box.
To access the browser cookie settings for Windows Phone devices follow these steps (may vary depending on the browser version):
- Open Internet Explorer, then More, then Settings
- Now you can activate or deactivate the Allow cookies box.