What are cookies?
Cookies are harmless text files that are stored in your browser when you visit almost any web page. What is useful about cookies is that the website is able to remember your visit when you return to browse that page. Not many people know this, but cookies have been used since the first browsers for the World Wide Web appeared 20 years ago.
What are NOT cookies?
They are not viruses, Trojans, worms, spam or spyware; nor do they open pop-up windows.
What information do cookies store?
Cookies don’t usually store sensitive information about you, such as credit card or bank details, photographs, your ID or personal information, etc. The data they keep are of a technical nature: personal preferences, personalization of contents, etc.
The web server is not associated with you as a person, but with your web browser. In fact, if you regularly browse with Internet Explorer and then try to browse the same website with Firefox or Chrome, you will see that the web page doesn’t realize that you are the same person, because it is actually associating with the browser, not the person.
What kind of cookies are there?
- Technical cookies: These are the most basic and, among other things, allow the web page to know when a human or an automated application is browsing; when an anonymous or registered user is browsing; and perform basic tasks that allow the operation of any dynamic web page.
- Analytical cookies: They collect information about the type of browsing they are doing, the sections that are used the most, which products are looked at, and timestamp when the site is used, which language, etc.
- Advertising cookies: They show advertising based on their browsing, their 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 those of third parties are those generated by external services or providers, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc.
What happens if I disable cookies?
The following examples show the extent to which disabling cookies can have an effect:
- You can not 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, which online stores often do.
- You cannot access the personal area of that website, such as My account, or My profile or My orders.
- Online shops: It will be impossible to make purchases online, they will have to be made by phone or by visiting the physical store, if they 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 or traffic on the web, which will make it difficult for the website to be competitive.
- You will not be able to write on the blog, you will not be able to upload photos, post comments, evaluate or rate content. The web will not be able to recognize whether you are a human or an automated application that publishes spam.
- It will not be possible to show sectorized advertising, which will reduce the advertising income of the website.
Can cookies be deleted?
Yes. Not just deleted, but blocked too, in a general or particular way, for a specific domain.
In order to delete cookies from a website, go to your browser settings, look for the ones associated with the domain in question and delete them from there.
Setting cookies for the most popular browsers
The following steps indicate how to manage the cookies in the Chrome browser. Note: these steps may vary, depending on the browser version:
- Go to Settings or Preferences through the File menu or by clicking on the personalization icon that appears on the top right.
- You will see different sections, click the option Show Advanced Options.
- Go to Privacy, Content Settings.
- Select All cookies and site data.
- A list with all the cookies sorted by domain will appear. To make it easier for you to find the cookies of a particular domain, enter the address partially or completely in the Search cookies field.
- Once you’ve applied this filter, one or several lines with the cookies of the requested website will appear on the screen. Now you just have to select it and press the X to delete it.
Follow these steps to manage the cookies in the Internet Explorer browser (may vary depending on the browser version):
- Go to Tool, Internet Options
- Click on Privacy.
- Move the slider to adjust the level of privacy you want.
Follow these steps to manage the cookies in the Firefox browser (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 history.
- Now you will see the option Accept cookies, which you can activate or deactivate according to your preferences.
Follow these steps to manage the cookies in the Safari for OS X browser (may vary depending on the browser version):
- Go to Preferences, then Privacy.
- Here you will see the option Block cookies, which allows you to adjust the type of block you want to make.
Follow these steps to manage the cookies in the Safari for iOS browser (may vary depending on the browser version):
- Go to Settings, then Safari.
- Go to Privacy and Security. Here you will see the option Block cookies, which allows you to adjust the type of block you want to make.
Follow these steps to manage the cookies in Android devices (may vary depending on the browser version):
- Run the browser and press the Menu key, then Settings.
- Go to Security and Privacy. Here you will see the option Accept cookies, which allows you to activate or deactivate the box.
Follow these steps to manage the cookies in Windows Phone devices (may vary depending on the browser version):
- Open Internet Explorer, then More, then Settings
- Now you can activate or deactivate the Allow cookies box.