What is a cookie
A cookie is an inoffensive text file, which is stored in your browser when you visit almost any website. The purpose of cookies is to allow the website to be able to remember your visit whenever you return to such a site. Although many people do not know this, cookies have been with us for around 20 years, since the appearance of the first World Wide Web search engines.
What a cookies IS NOT
A cookie is not a virus, a worm, spam or spyware, and will not open pop-up windows.
What information does a cookie store?
Cookies do not usually contain sensitive information about you, such as your credit card numbers or banking data, photographs, your ID Card No. or other personal information, etc. The data that cookies do contain is more technical in nature, such as personal preferences, contents personalisation, etc.
The website server will not associate cookies with you, as a person, but rather with your web browser. In fact, if you usually browse using Internet Explorer and then visit the same website via Firefox or Chrome you will find that the site does not recognise that you are the same person, because in reality it associates with the browser not the person.
Different kinds of cookies
- Technical cookies: These are the most elemental and, among other things, they allow for an identification of whether the visitor is a person or an automated application, or whether visitors are anonymous or registered users, also carrying out basic tasks associated with the correct functioning of any dynamic website.
- Analysis cookies: These cookies collect information regarding the type of browsing that is taking place, which sections are most used, which products are most consulted, usage time slots, language, etc.
- Advertising cookies: These cookies show advertising related to your browsing history, the country you come from, language, etc.
What are own and third party cookies?
Own cookies are generated by the site that you are visiting, while third party cookies are generated by external services or suppliers, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc.
What happens if you disable cookies?
In order to understand the consequences that disabling cookies can have we attach a series of examples in continuation:
- It will prevent you from sharing the contents of that site on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social network.
- Websites will no longer be able to adapt contents to your personal preferences, as they usually do when you visit online shops.
- You will no longer be able to access the personal areas of websites, such as: My account, My profile, or My orders.
- Online shops: It will be impossible for you to make online purchases, which will have to be done either by phone or by visiting an actual shop, should such exist.
- It will no longer be possible to personalise your preferences in terms of geography, time slots, currency or language.
- The web site will no longer be able to carry out web analytics, with regard to visitors or web traffic, which will make it difficult for the website to be competitive.
- You will no longer be able to contribute to the blog, upload photos, publish commentaries, evaluate or score contents. Moreover the website will no longer be able to tell whether you are a person or an automated application publishing spam.
- It will no longer be possible to show sectorised advertising, which will reduce the web’s advertising revenues.
- All social networks depend on cookies; if you disable them you will not be able to use any social network.
Can cookies be deleted?
Yes. And not only deleted, they can also be blocked, either in general terms or particularly with regard to a specific domain.
In order to delete cookies from a website you will have to access your browser configuration, where you will find the cookies associated with the domain in question and where you will be able to go ahead and delete them.
Cookie configuration for the most popular browsers
Below we indicate how to access a determined cookie on the Chrome browser Note: these steps may vary, depending on the version of the browser you have:
- Go to Configuration or Preferences, either via the Archive menu or by clicking on the personalisation icon that appears at the top of the screen on the right.
- You will see different sections, click on the option Show advanced options.
- Go to Privacy, Configuration of contents.
- Select All cookies and site data.
- A list will appear showing all of the cookies, ordered by domain. In order for it to be easier to find the cookies related to a determined domain either fully or partially enter the address in the field Look for cookies.
- After running this filter your screen will show one or various lines with from the selected website. Now all you have to do is select, and then press X to delete them.
To access cookies configuration using the Internet Explorer browser; take the following steps (which may depend on the version of the browser you have):
- Go to Tools, Internet options
- Click on Privacy.
- Move the slider to adjust the level of privacy that you want.
To access cookies configuration using the Firefox browser, take the following steps (which may depend on the version of the browser you have):
- Go to Options or Preferences, depending on your operating system.
- Click on Privacy.
- In History select Use a personalised configuration for the history.
- You will now see the option Accept cookies, from here you can enable or disable according to your preferences.
To access cookies configuration using the Safari for OSX browser, take the following steps (which may depend on the version of the browser you have):
- Go to Preferences, and then to Privacy.
- Here you will find the option Block cookies, in order to adjust the type of block that you want to introduce.
To access cookies configuration using the Safari for iOS browser, take the following steps (which may depend on the version of the browser you have):
- Go to Adjustments, and then toSafari.
- Go to Privacy and Security, where you will find the option Block cookies in order to adjust the type of block that you want to introduce.
To access cookies configuration using the browser for Android devices, take the following steps (which may depend on the version of the browser you have):
- Open the browser and click on the icon Menu, and then on Adjustments.
- Go to Security and Privacy, where you will find the option Accept cookies and you can enable or disable the box.
To access cookies configuration using the browser for Windows Phone devices, take the following steps (which may depend on the version of the browser you have):
- Open Internet Explorer, click on More and then on Configuration
- You can now enable or disable the box Permit cookies.