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 will be able to remember your visit when you come back to browse that page. Although many people do not know this, 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, a trojan, a worm, a spam, a spyware, or a pop-up window.
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 store is of a technical nature, personal preferences, personalisation of content, etc.
The web server does not associate you as a person but your web browser. In fact, if you usually browse with Internet Explorer and try to browse the same website with Firefox or Chrome you will see that the website does not realise that you are the same person because it is actually 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 user and a registered user are browsing, basic tasks for the operation of any dynamic web.
- Analysis cookies: They collect information about the type of browsing you are doing, the sections you use most, products consulted, time of use, language, etc.
- Advertising cookies: They show advertising according to your navigation, your country of origin, language, etc.
What are your own cookies and those of third parties?
Own cookies are those generated by the page you are visiting and third party cookies are those generated by external services or suppliers such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc.
What happens if I disable cookies?
To help you understand the extent to which you can disable cookies, here are some examples:
- You will not 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 your personal preferences.
- You will not be able to access the personal area of this website.
- It will not be possible to personalise your geographical preferences such as time zone, currency or language.
- The website will not be able to perform web analytics on visitors and web traffic, 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, rate or rate content. The website will also not be able to know if you are a human or an automated application that publishes spam.
- You will not be able to show sectorised advertising, which will reduce the website’s advertising income.
Can cookies be deleted?
Yes, not only can they be deleted, but also blocked, either generally or specifically for a specific domain.
To delete cookies from a website you must go to your browser settings and there you can find the ones associated with the domain in question and proceed to delete them.
Cookies configuration for the most popular browsers
Here’s how to access a particular Chrome browser cookie. Note: these steps may vary depending on your 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 the option 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 from a particular domain, enter all or part of the address in the Search for Cookies field.
- After performing this filter, one or more lines will appear on the screen with the cookies from the requested site. Now you only have to select it and press the X to proceed to its elimination.
To access the cookie 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 the desired privacy level.
To access the Firefox browser’s cookie settings follow these steps (they may vary depending on the browser version):
- Go to Options or Preferences depending on your operating system.
- Click on Privacy.
- Under History choose Use custom history settings.
- You will now see the option Accept Cookies, you can turn it on or off according to your preferences.
To access the cookie settings of the Safari for OSX browser follow these steps (they may vary depending on the version of the browser)
- Go to Preferences, then Privacy.
- Here you will see the Block Cookies option to set the type of blocking you want to do.
To access the cookie settings in the Safari for iOS browser follow these steps (they may vary depending on the version of the browser)
- Go to Settings, then Safari.
- Go to Privacy & Security, you will see the Block Cookies option to set the type of blocking you want to do.
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 option Accept Cookies to check or uncheck the box.
To access your browser’s cookie 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 check or uncheck the Allow Cookies box.