What is a cookie?
What a cookie is NOT?
It is not a virus, nor a Trojan, nor a worm, nor spam, nor spyware, nor does it open 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, personalisation of contents, etc. The web server does not associate cookies to you as a person, rather to 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 realise that you are the same person because the session is associated with 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 the user is anonymous or registered – basic tasks for the operation of any dynamic web.
- Analysis Cookies: These collect information on the how you are browsing, the sections you use most, consulted products, time zone, language, etc.
- Advertising Cookies: These show advertising according to your browsing, country of origin, language, etc.
What are first-party and third-party cookies?
First-party 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 cookies?
Here you are some examples so that you understand the effects that disabling cookies may have:
- 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 its content to your personal preferences, as is often the case with 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, they will have to be made via telephone or by visiting the physical store if there is one.
- The website will not be able to customise your geographical preferences such as time zone, currency or language.
- The website will not be able to perform web analytics regarding visitors and traffic on the website, making it difficult for the website to be competitive.
- You will not be able to write on the blog, you will not be able to upload photos, post comments or rate content. The website also will not know if you are a human or an automated application that publishes spam.
- You will not be able to show targeted advertising, which will reduce the advertising revenues of the website.
Can cookies be deleted?
Yes. Not only deleted, but also blocked, either in general or a particular way for a specific domain. To delete cookies from a website you must go to the configuration of your browser and there you can search for those associated with the domain in question and proceed to remove them.
Configuring 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 your browser version:
- Go to Settings or Preferences using the File menu or by clicking the customisation icon at the top right.
- You will see different sections, click Show advanced settings.
- Go to Privacy, Content Settings.
- Select All cookies and site data.
- A list with all the cookies sorted by domain will appear. To make it easier for you to find the cookies for a certain domain, enter the address, either in whole or in part, in the Search cookies field.
- After this filter, one or more lines with the cookies of the requested website will appear on the screen. Now just select as appropriate and press the X to delete.
To access the cookies configuration of the Internet Explorer browser, follow these steps (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 cookies configuration of the Firefox browser follow these steps (steps may vary depending on the version of the browser):
- Go to Options or Preferences, depending on your operating system.
- Click on Privacy.
- In History, choose Use custom settings for history.
- You will now see the Accept cookies option, you can activate or deactivate it according to your preferences.
To access the cookies configuration of the Safari browser for OSX, follow these steps (steps may vary depending on the version of the browser):
- Go to Preferences, then Privacy.
- Here you will see the Block cookies option where you can adjust the type of block you want to perform.
To access the Safari for iOS cookies settings, follow these steps (steps may vary depending on your browser version):
- Go to Settings, then Safari.
- Go to Privacy and Security, you will see the Block Cookies option where you can adjust the type of block you want to perform.
To access browser cookies settings for Android devices, follow these steps (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 Accept cookies option where you can enable or disable the checkbox.
To access browser cookies settings for Windows Phone devices, follow these steps (steps may vary depending on your browser version):
- Open Internet Explorer, then More, then Settings
- You can now enable or disable cookies with the Allow cookies checkbox.