What is a cookie?
A cookie is a harmless text file that is stored in your browser when you visit almost any website. The cookie’s utility is for the website to be able to remember your visit when you browse it again. Although many people do not know that cookies have already 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 does it open pop-up windows.
What information does a cookie store?
Cookies do not usually store sensitive information about you, such as credit cards or bank details, pictures, your ID or personal information, etc. The data they keep are of technical character, personal preferences, content personalization, etc.
The Web server does not associate you as a person it associates your Web browser. In fact, if you usually navigate with Internet Explorer and try to navigate the same website with Firefox or Chrome you will see that the web does not realize that you are the same person because it is actually associating the browser, not the person.
What kind of cookies exist?
- Technical cookies: They are the most elementary and allow, among other things, to know if a human is browsing or it is an automated application, if an anonymous user is browsing or it is a registered one and also basic tasks for the operation of any dynamic web.
- Analysis cookies: They collect information about the type of browsing you are making, the sections you use the most, products consulted, time zone, language, etc.
- Advertising cookies: They show publicity depending on 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 those of third parties are generated by external services or suppliers like Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc.
What happens if I disable the cookies?
To understand the scope that disabling cookies can have we show some examples:
- You will not be able to share content from that website on Facebook, Twitter or any other social network.
- The web site will not be able to adapt the contents to your personal preferences, as usually 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 Stores: You will be unable to make online purchases, they will have to be by phone or a visit to the physical store.
- You will not be able to customize your geographic preferences as the time slot, currency or language.
- The website will not be able to perform web analytics on visitors and traffic, making it difficult for the website to be competitive.
- You cannot write on the blog, you will not be able to upload photos, post comments, evaluate or rate content. The web will also not know if you are a human or an automated application that publishes spam.
- Sectorized advertising will not be displayed, which will reduce the web advertising revenue.
Can cookies be deleted?
Yes. Not only deleted, also blocked, generally or particularly for a specific domain.
To delete the cookies from a website you must go to the settings of your browser and there you can find those associated with the domain in question and proceed to delete them.
Setting of cookies for the most popular browsers
Here’s how to access a specific cookie from the Chrome browser. Note: These steps may vary depending on the browser version:
- Go to Settings or Preferences using the File menu or clicking the customization icon that appears above to the right.
- You will see different sections, click on Show advanced options.
- Go to Privacy, Content settings.
- Select All cookies and site data.
- A list will appear with all cookies sorted by domain. To make it easier for you to find cookies from a given domain, enter partially or fully the address in the Search Cookies
- After this filter one or more lines will appear on the screen with the cookies of the requested website. Now just select it and press the X to proceed to delete it.
To access the Internet Explorer browser cookie settings, follow these steps (they may vary depending on the browser version):
- Go to Tools, Internet options
- Click on Privacy.
- Move the slider to adjust the level of privacy you want.
To access the Firefox cookie settings, follow these steps (they may vary depending on the browser version):
- Go to Options or Preferences depending on your operating system.
- Click on Privacy.
- In History, choose use custom settings for the history.
- Now you will see the Accept cookies option, you can turn it on or off according to your preferences.
To access the Safari for OSX cookie settings, follow these steps (they may vary depending on the browser version):
- Go to Preferences, then Privacy.
- In this place you will see the Block Cookies option to adjust the type of block you want to perform.
To access the Safari for iOS cookie settings, follow these steps (they may vary depending on the browser version):
- Go to Settings, then Safari.
- Go to Privacy and Security, you will see the Block cookies option to adjust the type of block you want to perform.
To access the Android cookie settings, follow these steps (they may vary depending on the browser version):
- Run the browser and press the Menu key, then settings.
- Go to Security and Privacy, you will see the Accept cookies option where you can enable or disable the checkbox.
To access the Windows Phones cookie settings, follow these steps (they may vary depending on the browser version):
- Open Internet Explorer, then More, then Setup
- You can now enable or disable the Allow Cookies checkbox