What is a cookie?
A cookie is a harmless text file that is stored in your browser when you visit almost any web page. The usefulness of the cookie is that the web is able to remember your visit when you return to browse that page. Although many people do not know it, cookies have been used for 20 years, when the first browsers for the World Wide Web appeared.
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 card or bank details, photographs, your ID card or personal information, etc. The data they do store are technical, personal preferences, content personalization, etc.
The web server does not associate you as a person but your web browser. In fact, if you usually browse with Internet Explorer and try to browse the same web 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 types of cookies are there?
- Technical Cookies: These are the most basic and allow, among other things, to know when a human or an automated application is browsing, when an anonymous user is browsing and when a registered user is browsing, basic tasks for the operation of any dynamic web.
- Analysis Cookies: Collect information about the type of navigation you are doing, the sections you use most, products consulted, time of use, language, etc..
- Advertising cookies: They show advertising based on your browsing, your country of origin, language, etc.
What are first-party and third-party cookies?
First-party 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 disable cookies?
To help you understand the scope that can have disabling cookies we show 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 the contents to your personal preferences, as often happens in online stores.
- You will not be able to access the personal area of that website, such as My account, My profile or My orders.
- Online stores: You will not be able to make online purchases, you will have to make them by phone or by visiting the physical store if you have one.
- It will not be possible to customize your geographical 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 the blog, upload photos, post comments, rate or rate content. The website will not be able to know if you are a human or an automated application that publishes spam.
- You will not be able to display targeted advertising, which will reduce the website’s advertising revenue.
Can I delete cookies?
Yes, not only delete them, but also block them, either in general or for a specific domain.
To delete cookies from a website you must go to your browser settings and there you can search for those associated with the domain in question and proceed to its elimination.
Cookie settings for the most popular browsers
Here is how to access a particular cookie in the Chrome browser. Note: these steps may vary depending on the browser version:
- Go to Settings or Preferences via the File menu or by clicking on the customization icon at the top right.
- You will see different sections, click on the Show advanced options option.
- Go to Privacy, Content settings.
- Select All cookies and site data.
- You will see a list of all cookies sorted by domain. To make it easier to find cookies for a particular domain, enter part or all of the address in the Search cookies field.
- After performing this filter, one or more lines with the cookies of the requested website will appear on the screen. Now you only have to select it and press the X to proceed to its elimination.
To access the cookie settings of the Internet Explorer browser follow these steps (may vary depending on the browser version):
- Go to Tools, Internet Options
- Click on Privacy.
- Move the slider to adjust the privacy level you want.
To access Firefox browser cookie settings follow these steps (may vary depending on browser version):
- Go to Options or Preferences depending on your operating system.
- Click on Privacy.
- Under History choose Use custom settings for history.
- You will now see the option Accept cookies, you can enable or disable it according to your preferences.
To access the cookie settings of the Safari browser for OSX follow these steps (may vary depending on the browser version):
- Go to Preferences, then Privacy.
- Here you will see the option Block cookies for you to adjust the type of blocking you want to do.
To access the cookie settings of the Safari browser for iOS follow these steps (may vary depending on the browser version):
- Go to Settings, then Safari.
- Go to Privacy and Security, you will see the option Block cookies for you to adjust the type of blocking you want to perform.
To access the browser cookie settings for Android devices follow these steps (may vary depending on the browser version):
- Launch the browser and press the Menu key, then Settings.
- Go to Security and Privacy, you will see the Accept cookies option for you to check or uncheck the box.
To access the browser cookie settings for Windows Phone devices follow these steps (may vary depending on the browser version):
- Open Internet Explorer, then More, then Settings.
- You can now enable or disable the Allow cookies checkbox.