What is a cookie?
A cookie is a harmless text file that is stored in the browser when you visit almost any web page. The cookie is used by the web to remember your visit when you come back to that page again. The cookies have been used for 20 years, when the first browsers appeared for the World Wide Web.
What is NOT a cookie?
It is not a virus, nor a Trojan, nor a worm, nor spam, nor spyware, nor opens pop-up windows.
What information stores a cookie?
The 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 technical information, personal preferences, personalization of contents, etc.
The web server does not associate you as a person, it identifies your web browser. In fact, if you regularly surf with Internet Explorer and try browsing the same web with Firefox or Chrome you will see that the web does not know that you are the same person because it identifies the browser, not the person.
What kind of cookies exist?
- Technical cookies: These are the most elementary and allow, among other things, knowing when a human or an automated application is browsing the web, differenciates when an anonymous user or a registered one surf the web, and do basic tasks for the operation of any dynamic web.
- Analysis cookies: They collect information about the type of navigation you are making, the most visited sections, products consulted, time zone of use, language, etc.
- Advertising cookies: Display advertising based on your navigation, country of origin, language, etc.
What are the own and third-party cookies?
The own cookies are generated by the page that you are visiting and the third-party are those generated by external services or providers such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc.
What happens if i turn off cookies?
To understand the consequences of disabling cookies, here are some examples:
- You will not be able to share content from the website on Facebook, Twitter or any other social network.
- The website will not be able to adapt the contents to your personal preferences, as often happens in online stores.
- You will not be able to access the personal area of that website, such as My account, or My profile or My orders.
- Online shops: You will not be able to make purchases online, they will have to be by telephone or in the physical store.
- It will not be possible to customize your geographical preferences such as time zone, currency or language.
- The website will not be able to perform web analytics about visitors and traffic on the web, which will make it difficult for the web 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 web will also not know if you are a human or an automated application that publishes spam.
- The web will not be able to show sectorized advertising, which will reduce the advertising revenues.
Can cookies be deleted?
Yes. Not just deleted, also blocked, in a general or particular way for a specific domain.
To remove the cookies from a website you must go to the configuration of your browser and there you will find those associated with the domain in question and proceed to its elimination.
Setting cookies for the most popular browsers
Here’s how to access a particular 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 customization icon on the top right.
- You will see different sections, click the Show advanced options option.
- Go to Privacy, Content Settings.
- Select All cookies and site data.
- A list with all cookies sorted by domain will appear. To find the cookies for a particular domain, enter the address in the Search for cookies field.
- After this filtering, the browser will show you one or more lines with the cookies of the requested web. Now just select it and press the X to delete them.
To access the cookies settings in the Internet Explorer browser follow these steps (may vary depending on your browser version):
- Go to Tools, Internet Options
- Click Privacy.
- Move the slider until the level of privacy you want is adjusted.
To access the cookies settings in the Firefox browser follow these steps (may vary depending on your browser version):
- Go to Options or Preferences depending on your operating system.
- Click 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 settings in the Safari browser for macOS 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 adjust the type of block you want to apply.
To access the cookies 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, ther you will see the Block Cookies option to adjust the type of block you want to apply.
To access the cookies settings in the browser for Android devices follow these steps (may vary depending on browser version):
- Run the browser and press the Menu key, then Settings.
- Go to Security and Privacy, you will see the Accept cookies option to enable or disable the checkbox.
To access the cookies settings of the browser for Windows Phone devices follow these steps (may vary depending on browser version):
- Open Internet Explorer, then More, then Settings
- You can now enable or disable the Allow cookies checkbox.