What is a cookie?
A cookie is a harmless text file that is stored in your browser when you visit almost any website. Cookies are used so that the site will be able to remember your visit when you return to that page. Although many people don’t know it, cookies have been used for 20 years, since the first browsers for the World Wide Web appeared.
What is a cookie NOT?
It’s not a virus, a Trojan, a worm, spam, 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, such as personal preferences, personalisation of content, etc.
The web server does not associate the cookie with you as a person, but with your web browser. In fact, if you regularly browse with Internet Explorer and try browsing the same web page with Firefox or Chrome, you will see that the web page does not realise that you are the same person because it actually remembers the browser, not the person.
What types of cookies are there?
- Technical cookies: These are the most basic and allow sites to know whether it’s a human or an automated application browsing, to see whether it’s an anonymous user or a registered user browsing and to perform basic tasks required for the operation of any dynamic website, among other things.
- Analysis cookies: These collect information about the type of browsing you’re doing, the sections you use most, products consulted, time zone, language, etc.
- Advertising cookies: These display advertising according to your browsing, 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 cookies off?
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 its 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, My Profile or My Orders.
- Online stores: It will be impossible for you to make purchases online. They will have to be made by phone or by visiting the physical store, if there is one.
- It will not be possible to customise 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 will not be able to write on blogs, upload photos, post comments, evaluate or rate content. The website will also not be able to tell if you are a human or an automated application that publishes spam.
- Sectorised advertising will not be able to be shown, which will reduce the advertising income of the website.
Yes. They can not only be removed, but also be blocked in general or for a specific domain.
To delete cookies from a website you must go to your browser settings. From there you can search for the cookies associated with the domain in question and proceed to delete them.
Cookie settings for the most popular browsers
Here’s how to access a specific 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 customisation icon at the top right.
- You will see different sections. Click on the option Show advanced options.
- Go to Privacy, then 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 applying this filter, one or more lines with the cookies of the requested website will appear on the screen. Now you just need to select the cookies and press X to proceed with their removal.
To access the Internet Explorer browser’s cookie settings follow these steps (they may vary depending on your browser version):
- Go to Tools, then Internet Options.
- Click on Privacy.
- Move the slider until your desired privacy level is set.
To access the Firefox browser’s cookie settings follow these steps (they may vary depending on your 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 Safari for OSX browser’s cookie settings follow these steps (they may vary depending on your browser version):
- Go to Preferences, then Privacy.
- Here you will see the Block Cookies option to set up the type of blocking you want.
To access the Safari for iOS browser’s cookie settings follow these steps (they may vary depending on your browser version):
- Go to Settings, then Safari.
- Go to Privacy and Security. You will see the option Block Cookies to adjust the type of blocking you want.
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 button, then Settings.
- Go to Security and Privacy. You’ll see the Accept cookies check box, which you can activate or deactivate.To access your browser’s cookie settings for Windows Phone devices follow these steps (they may vary depending on your browser version):
- Open Internet Explorer, then More, then Settings.
- You can now check or uncheck the Allow Cookies box.