What is a cookie?
A cookie is a harmless text file that is stored in your browser when you visit almost any website. The purpose of the cookie is for the website to be able to remember your visit when you return 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, Trojan horse, worm, spam, spyware or pop-up windows.
What information does a cookie store?
Cookies do not usually store sensitive information about you, such as credit card or banking 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 usually browse with Internet Explorer and try browsing the same website with Firefox or Chrome you will see that the web does not realise that you are the same person because it is actually associating the browser, not the person.
What types 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 website.
- Analysis cookies: These collect information on the type of browsing being carried out, the sections most used, products consulted, time of use, language, etc.
- Advertising cookies: These show advertising based on your browsing, your 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 disable cookies?
To help you understand the scope that disabling cookies can have, here are some examples:
- You will not be able to share content from this website on Facebook, Twitter or any other social network.
- The website will not be able to adapt the content to your personal preferences, as is often the case with online shops.
- You will not be able to access the personal area of that website, such as My account, My profile or My orders.
- Online shops: You will not be able to make purchases online, you will have to make them over the phone or by visiting the physical shop if you have one.
- It will not be possible to customise 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 not be able to know whether you are a human or an automated application that publishes spam.
- You will not be able to display targeted advertising, which will reduce the website’s advertising revenue.
Can I delete cookies?
Yes, not only delete them, but also block them, either generally or for a specific domain. To delete cookies from a website you must go to your browser settings and there you can search for those associated with the domain in question and delete them.
Configuration of cookies for the most popular browsers
Here’s how to access a specific cookie in the Chrome browser. Note: these steps may vary depending on the 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 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 the cookies for a particular domain, enter part or all of the address in the Search cookies field.
- After making this filter, one or more lines with the cookies of the requested website will appear on the screen. Now all you have to do is select it and press X to delete it.
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 set the privacy level you want.
To access your Firefox browser’s cookie settings, follow these steps (may vary depending on browser version):
- Go to Options or Preferences depending on your operating system.
- Click on Privacy.
- Under History choose Use custom settings for history.
- You will now see the Accept cookies option, you can enable or disable it according to your preferences.
To access the cookie settings in the Safari browser for OSX follow these steps (may vary depending on browser version):
- Go to Preferences, then Privacy.
- Here you will see the option Block cookies so that you can adjust the type of blocking you want to do.
To access the cookie settings in the Safari browser for iOS follow these steps (may vary depending on browser version):
- Go to Settings, then Safari.
- Go to Privacy and Security, you will see the option Block cookies for you to adjust the type of blocking you want to do.
To access the browser cookie settings for Android devices follow these steps (may vary depending on the browser version):
- Launch the browser and press the Menu key, then Settings.
- Go to Security and Privacy, you will see the Accept cookies option to check or uncheck the box.
To access your browser cookie settings for Windows Phone devices follow these steps (may vary depending on browser version):
- Open Internet Explorer, then More, then Settings
- You can now check or uncheck the Allow cookies box.