What is a cookie?
A cookie is a harmless text file which is stored in your browser when you visit almost any website. It is useful because the website will be able to remember your visit when you browse the page again. Although many people do not know it, cookies have been in use for 20 years, since the first browsers for the World Wide Web appeared.
What is a cookie not?
It is not a virus, a Trojan, a worm, spam or spyware, nor does it open pop-up windows.
What information is stored in a cookie?
Cookies do not usually store sensitive information about you, such as credit card and bank account data, photographs, your identity card or personal details, etc. The data they store is of a technical nature, personal preferences, content customization, etc.
The web server will not recognize you as a person but rather your web browser. In fact, if you regularly browse with Internet Explorer and try browsing on the same website with Firefox or Chrome, you will see that the website does not realize that it is the same person, because it is actually recognizing the browser, not the person.
What kind of cookies exist?
Technical Cookies: These are the most basic ones which ascertain, among other things, whether a human or an automated application is browsing or whether an anonymous user or a registered user is browsing, basic tasks for the running of any dynamic website.
Analysis Cookies: These gather information regarding the kind of browsing you perform, the sections you use most, the products you view, the time zone you are in, the language, etc.
Advertising Cookies: These show advertising based on your browsing, country of origin, language, etc.
What are a website’s own cookies and third-party cookies?
The website’s own cookies are those generated by the page you are visiting and third-party ones are those generated by external services or providers such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc.
What happens if I disable cookies?
To understand the effects of disabling cookies we offer some examples below:
You will not be able to share the content of 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 the website, such as “My Account”, “My Profile” or “My Orders”.
Online Stores: It will be impossible for you to make purchases online. You will have to make them by phone or by visiting the brick-and-mortar shop, if there is one.
It will not be possible to customize your geographic preferences, such as your time zone, currency or language.
The website will not be able to perform any web analysis regarding its visitors and traffic, making it difficult for it to be competitive.
You will not be able to write on the blog, upload photos, post comments or assess or rate the contents. Nor will the website be able to know whether you are a human or an automated application publishing spam.
It will not be possible to show sectored advertising, which will reduce the advertising income of the website.
Can cookies be deleted?
Yes. Not only deleted but also blocked, generally or those of a particular domain.
To remove cookies from a website you must go to your browser settings and there you will find those associated to the domain in question and you can proceed to their removal.
Configuration of cookies for the most popular Browsers
What follows is an explanation of how to access a particular cookie of the Chrome browser. Please note that these steps may vary depending on the version of the browser.
Go to “Settings” or “Preferences” via the “File” menu or by clicking on the “Options” icon which is displayed in the top right-hand corner of the screen.
You will see different sections, click on the “Show Advanced Settings” option.
Go to “Privacy”, “Content Settings”.
Select “Cookies and other site data”.
There will appear a list of all the cookies in domain order. To make it easier to find the cookies of a particular domain enter the partial or full address in the “Search Cookies” field.
After this filter is carried out there will appear one or several lines on the screen with the cookies of the requested website.
Now you just have to select and press X to proceed to their deletion.
To access the cookie settings 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 adjust it to the level of privacy you require.
To access the cookie settings of the Firefox browser follow these steps (they 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”.
Now you will see the “Accept Cookies” option, you can enable or disable it according to your preferences.
To access the cookie settings of the Safari browser for OSX follow these steps (they may vary depending on the version of the browser).
Go to “Settings”, then “Privacy”.
Here you will see the “Block Cookies” option, which you can adjust to the type of blocking you wish to apply.
To access the cookie settings of the Safari browser for iOS follow these steps (they may vary depending on the version of the browser).
Go to “Settings”, then “Safari”.
Go to “Privacy and Security”, you will see the “Block Cookies” option, which you can adjust to the type of blocking you wish to apply.
To access the cookie settings of the browser for Android devices follow these steps (they may vary depending on the version of the browser).
Open the browser and press on the “Menu” key, then “Settings”.
Go to “Security and Privacy” and you will see the “Accept Cookies” option, where you can enable or disable the box.
To access the cookie settings of the browser for Windows Phone devices follow these steps (they may vary depending on the version of the browser).
Open Internet Explorer, then “More”, then “Settings”.
Now you can enable or disable the “Allow Cookies” box.