What is a cookie?
A cookie is a harmless piece of text that is stored in your browser when you visit almost every existing website. The use of a cookie is that allows the website to remember your visit whet you get into it again. Although many people don’t know it, cookies have been used for over 20 years, when the first browsers for the World Wide Web firstly appeared.
What is not a cookie?
It is not a virus, worm, spam, spyware, malware and it doesn’t open pop-ups.
What data is stored by a cookie?
Cookies don’t usually store sensitive information about you, like credit cards or banks data, pictures, ID number o personal information, etc. The data saved by a cookie is technical, personal preferences, personalized contents, etc.
The web server doesn’t associate you as a person, but as a browser. In fact, if you normally surf the internet with Internet Explorer and try to visit the same website with Firefox or Chrome, you will notice that the website doesn’t realise that you are the same person because it actually associate the visitor with the browser, not the human being.
What kind of cookies exist?
- Technical cookies: These are the most essential and allow the website to know, for instance, when is it being visited by a human or an automized application, or when is it visited by an anonymous visitor or a registered one. Basic tasks for the well-function of any dynamic website.
- Analysis cookies: They collect information about the kind of navigation, most used sections, consulted products, schedule of using, language, etc.
- Advertisement cookies: They show ads according to your tastes, country, language, etc.
What are the own and arbitrary cookies?
The own cookies are the ones generated by the website you are visiting, whilst the arbitrary cookies are generated by services or outer suppliers like Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc.
What happens if I enable the cookies?
For you to understand what the enabling of cookies might cause, here you have a few examples:
- You won’t be able to share content from the website in other sites like Facebook, Twitter or any other social networking site.
- The website won’t be able to adapt its contents to your personal preferences, like it usually happens at online shopping sites.
- You won’t be able to access the personal mail of the site, like for example My account, my profile, my purchases, etc.
- Online shops: Unable to buy online, you will have to do it via phone calling or physical visit.
- It won’t be able to personalize your geographical preference, time zone, currency or language.
- You won’t be able to write on the blog, upload pictures, post comments, rate contents, etc. Website won’t be able neither to know if you are a human being or an automized application that publish spam.
- Won’t be able to show sectorized advertisement, which will decrease the advertisement income of the website.
Can cookies by eliminated?
Yes. Not only eliminated, but also blocked, in a general way or for a specific domain.
To eliminate cookies from a website you must select the settings of your browser and then look for the ones associated to the domain and proceed to their elimination.
Cookies settings for the most popular browsers
How to access a cookie from the browser Chrome. Note: These steps might vary depending on the version of the browser:
- Go to Settings or Preferences via the menu File or the personalization symbol at the top right of the page.
- You’ll see different sections, click Show advanced options.
- Go to privacy, Content settings.
- Select All cookies and sites data.
- A list with all cookies ordered by domain will appear. In order to make it easier for you to find the specific cookies of a domain, write partially or totally the address in Search cookies.
- After applying this filter, you will see one or some lines with the cookies that the website requires. Now you only need to choose one and press X to delete it.
These are the steps to follow in an Internet Explorer browser (may vary depending on the version):
- Tools – Internet options
- Press Privacy
- Move the cursor to adapt the desired privacy level.
These are the steps to follow in a Firefox browser (may vary depending on the version):
- Depending on your O.S. select Options or Preferences
- Click Privacy
- In History select Use a personal setting
- Now you will see the option Accept cookies, you can enable or unable it according to your preferences.
These are the steps to follow in a Safari for OSX browser (may vary depending on the version):
- Preferences, then Privacy
- Here you’ll see the option Block cookies to adjust the kind of blockage you prefer.
These are the steps to follow in a Safari for iOS browser (may vary depending on the version):
- Settings, then Safari
- Go to Privacy and Security, there you will see the option Accept cookies to enable or unable the option.
These are the steps to follow in a Windows Phone browser (may vary depending on the version):
- Open Internet Explorer, click More, then Settings.
- Now you can enable or unable the option Allow cookies.