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 web is able to remember your visit when you navigate through that page. Many people do not know that cookies have been used for 20 years, when the first browsers appeared in the World Wide Web.
What is NOT a cookie?
It is not a virus, nor a Trojan, nor a worm, nor spam, nor spyware, nor does it opens pop-up windows.
What information does a cookie store?
Cookies do not usually 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, personalized contents, etc.
The web server does not recognize you as a person but as your web browser. In fact, if you regularly surf with Internet Explorer and try browsing the same web address with Firefox or Chrome you will see that your data will not be recognized, only your terminal.
What kind of cookies are there?
- Technical Cookies: They are the most elementary. These cookies allow, among other things, knowing when either a human or an automated application is surfing; when an anonymous user or a registered user is navigating the website; and basic tasks for the operation of any dynamic web.
- Analysis Cookies: They collect information about the type of navigation you are carrying out, the sections you use most, the products consulted, time zone of use, language, etc.
- Advertising Cookies: They show advertising attuned to your interests, based on your navigation, your country of origin, language, etc.
What are your own and third-party cookies?
Your own cookies are those generated by the page you are visiting. 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 resulting extent of disabling cookies, we show some examples:
- You will not be able to share contents of 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 for online stores.
- You will not be able to access the personal area of that website, such as My account, My profile or My orders.
- Online stores: You will not be able to make purchases online; you will have to shop by telephone or visit the physical store, if it exists.
- It will not be possible to customize your geographical preferences, such as time zone, currency or language.
- The website will not be able to perform web analytics on visitors and traffic on the site, which will make it difficult for the site to be competitive.
- You will not be able to write on the blog, you will not be able to upload photos, publish comments, or rate content. The site also will not know if you are a human or an automated application that publishes spam.
- It will not be possible to show sectorized advertising, which will reduce the advertising revenues of the web.
Can cookies be deleted?
Yes. Not only deleted but also blocked, generally or individually for a specific domain.
To remove cookies from a website, you must go to browser configuration and once there, you can search for those cookies associated with the domain in question and proceed to their removal.
Setting up cookies for 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 using the File menu or by clicking the customization icon at the top right.
- Click on advanced options.
- Go to Privacy, Content Settings.
- Select All cookies and site data.
- A list will appear with all the cookies sorted by domain. 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 field.
- After this filter will appear on the screen one or more lines with the cookies of the requested web. Now you just have to select it and press the X to proceed to its elimination.
To access the cookies configuration 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 adjust the privacy level you want.
To access the cookies configuration of the Firefox browser, follow these steps (may vary depending on browser version):
- Go to Options or Preferences, depending on your operating system.
- Click on Privacy.
- In History, choose use custom settings for the history.
- Now you will see the option Accept cookies, you can activate or deactivate it according to your preference.
To access the cookies configuration of the Safari browser for OSX follow these steps (they may vary depending on the version of the browser):
- Go to Preferences, then Privacy.
- In this place you will see the Block cookies option to adjust the type of block you want to perform.
To access the Safari browser settings for iOS, follow these steps (they may vary depending on the browser version):
- 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 your browser’s cookie settings for Android devices, 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 enable or disable the checkbox.
To access browser cookies settings for Windows Phone devices, follow these steps (they may vary depending on your browser version):
- Open Internet Explorer, then More, then Settings
- You can now enable or disable the Allow cookies.