What is a cookie?
A cookie is a harmless text file that is stored in your browser when you visit almost any website. The utility of the cookie is that the website will be able to remember your visit when you go back to that page. Although many people do not know it, 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, spam, a spyware, or a pop-up window opener.
What information does a cookie store?
Cookies do not usually store sensitive information about you, such as credit card or bank details, photographs, your ID or personal information, etc. The data they do 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 regularly browse with Internet Explorer and try browsing the same website with Firefox or Chrome you will see that the website does not realize 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 elementary 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, etc. These are basic tasks for the operation of any dynamic website.
- Analysis cookies: They collect information about the type of navigation 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 own and third-party cookies?
Own cookies are those generated by the page you are visiting and third party cookies are those generated by external services or providers such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc.
What happens if I turn off the 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, as is often the case in online stores.
- You will not be able to access the personal area of that site, such as My Account, or My Profile or My Orders.
- Online stores: It will be impossible for you to make purchases online, they will have to be by phone or by visiting the physical store if you have one.
- It will not be possible to customize your geographic 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 may not write on the blog, upload photos, post comments, value or rate content. The website will also not be able to 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 income of the website.
Can cookies be deleted?
Yes, not only delete, but also block, in a general or particular way 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.
Cookie settings 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 customization 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.
- A list of all cookies will be displayed, sorted by domain. To make it easier for you to find the cookies for a given domain, enter part or all of the address in the Search for Cookies field.
- After performing this filter, one or more lines with the cookies of the requested website will appear on the screen. Now you only have to select it and press the X to proceed to its elimination.
To access the cookie settings of the Internet Explorer browser follow these steps (they may vary depending on the browser version):
- 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 according to your operating system.
- Click on Privacy.
- Under History choose Use a custom history setting.
- Now you will see the option Accept cookies. You can activate or deactivate it according to your preferences.
To access the cookie settings of the Safari for OSX browser follow these steps (they may vary depending on the browser version):
- 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 browser version):
- Go to Settings, then Safari.
- Go to Privacy and Security, you’ll 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’ll see the Accept cookies option to check or uncheck the box.
To access the browser’s cookie settings for Windows Phone devices follow these steps (they may vary depending on the browser version):
- Open Internet Explorer, then More, then Settings.
- You can now check or uncheck the Allow Cookies box.