What is a cookie?
A cookie is an inoffensive text file stored on your browser when you visit almost any website. Cookies are useful as they allow a website to remember your visit when you browse on that site again. Many people don’t realise that cookies have been in use for 20 years, since the first World Wide Web browsers appeared.
What a cookie IS NOT
A cookie is not a virus, nor a Trojan, worm, spam or spyware, nor does it open pop-ups.
What information does a cookie store?
Cookies do not usually store sensitive information about you, such as credit card or bank details, photographs, your identification number or personal information, etc. The data they store are technical in nature, or related to personal preferences, content personalisation, etc.
The web server does not associate with you as a person, but rather with your browser. In fact, if you usually browse the Internet using Internet Explorer and you then try to browse the same website using Firefox or Chrome you will see that the website does not realise you are the same person as, in reality, it is associating with your browser, not the person.
What types of cookies exist?
Technical cookies: These are the most basic and they make it possible, among other things, to know when a human or automated application is browsing, and when an anonymous or a registered user is browsing, which are basic tasks for the functioning of any dynamic website.
Analytics cookies: These gather information on the browsing habits of the user, the sections that are used the most, the products consulted, the time zone from which the user is browsing, the language used, etc.
Advertising cookies: These show advertising based on your browsing habits, country of origin, language, etc.
What are own cookies and third-party cookies?
Own cookies are those generated by the website you are visiting while third-party cookies are those generated by external services or providers, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc.
What happens if I disable cookies?
In order to ensure you understand the scope of disabling cookies, here are some examples:
You will not be able to share any of the website’s contents on Facebook, Twitter or any other social networks.
The website will not be able to adapt its contents to your personal preferences, as usually occurs with online stores.
You will not be able to access the personal area of the website, such as My account, or My profile or My orders.
Online stores: You will not be able to place orders online; you will need to do so over the phone or by visiting a physical store, if one is available.
It will not be possible to personalise your geographical preferences, such as time zone, currency and language.
The website will not be able to perform website analysis of visitors and traffic, which will make it difficult for the website to remain competitive.
You will not be able to write on the blog, upload photos, publish comments, or rate contents. The website will not know whether you are a human or an automatic application publishing spam.
It will not be possible to show sector-driven advertising, which will reduce the website’s advertising income.
Can cookies be deleted?
Yes. Not only can they be deleted, they can also be blocked in general or specifically for a certain domain.
To delete the cookies of a certain website, enter your browser’s settings, look for those associated with the domain in question and proceed to delete them.
Cookies settings for the most popular browsers
Below are instructions on how to access a certain cookie if you use Chrome. Note: These steps may vary depending on your version of this browser:
Go to Settings or Preferences using the File menu or by clicking on the personalisation icon that appears in the top right.
You will see different sections. Click on Show advanced settings.
Go to Privacy, then Content settings.
Select All cookies and site data.
You will be shown a list of all cookies ordered according to domain. To make it easier to find the cookies of a certain domain, partially or fully enter the address in the Search cookies bar.
After filtering the results you will see one or several lines showing the cookies of the website you searched for. Simply select and click the X to delete them.
To access the cookies settings of Internet Explorer follow these steps (they may vary depending on your version of this browser):
Go to Tools, then Internet options.
Click on Privacy.
Move the slider to adjust the level of privacy.
To access the cookies settings of Firefox follow these steps (they may vary depending on your version of this browser):
Go to Options or Preferences depending on your operating system.
Click on Privacy.
In History select Use custom settings for history.
Now you will see the option to Accept cookies. You can activate or disable this, depending on your preferences.
To access the cookies settings of Safari for OS X follow these steps (they may vary depending on your version of this browser):
Go to Preferences, then Privacy.
Here you will see the option to Block cookies so you can make the adjustment necessary.
To access the cookies settings of Safari para iOS follow these steps (they may vary depending on your version of this browser):
Go to Settings, then Safari.
Go to Privacy and security, and you will see the option to Block cookies so you can make the adjustment necessary.
To access the cookies settings of the browser on Android devices follow these steps (they may vary depending on your version of this browser):
Run your browser and click Menu, then Settings.
Go to Security and privacy, and you will see the option to Accept cookies where you may check or uncheck this box.
To access the cookies settings of the browser on Windows Phone devices follow these steps (they may vary depending on your version of this browser):
Open Internet Explorer, then More, then Settings.
Now you can check or uncheck the Enable cookies box.