What is a cookie?
A cookie is a harmless text file that is stored in your browser when you visit almost any website. The value of the cookie is that the web is able to remember your visit when you return to browse this page. Although many people do not know the cookies have been in use for 20 years, when the first browsers for the World Wide Web appear.
What NOT IS a cookie?
It is not a virus or a Trojan or a worm, no spam, no spyware, no pop-up window.
What information does a cookie store?
Cookies do not usually store sensitive information about you such as credit card or bank account information, photos, your ID or personal information, etc.. The data stored are technical, personal preferences, content personalization, etc.
The web server will not identify you as a person, it identifies your web browser. In fact, if you regularly 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.
What kind of cookies are there?
The main cookie types used in Internet are:
Technical cookies: These are the most basic and allow, among other things, to know if the user is a human or an automated application, and if the user is anonymous or is registered in the web.
Analytical cookies: collect information on the type of navigation being carried, the sections you use most, viewed products, times of use, language, etc.
Advertising cookies: show advertising based on your navigation, your country of origin, language, etc.
What are own cookies and third-party cookies?
Own cookies are those generated by the page you are visiting and third-party cookies are generated by external services or providers such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc.
What happens if you disable cookies?
To understand the scope that may have to disable cookies here are some examples:
- You can not share content of the site on Facebook, Twitter or any other social network.
- The web site will not adapt the content to your personal preferences, as often happens in online stores.
- You can not access the registered area of the website, such as My account, or My profile or My cart.
- Online stores: It will not be possible to buy online; your purchases will have to be processed over the phone or at the physical store.
- It will not be possible to personalize your geographical preferences, such as your time zone, currency or language.
- The web site will not perform web analytics and visitor traffic on the web, making it difficult to be competitive.
- You can not write in a blog, you can not upload pictures, post comments or rate content. The website will not be able to know if you are a human being or an automated application publishing spam.
- The website can not display targeted advertising, which will reduce the income of the website.
Can I delete cookies?
Yes, and not only remove but also block them in general or particular to a specific domain.
To remove cookies from a website you should go to your browser settings and there you can find the ones associated with that domain.
Cookie settings for the most popular browsers
Here’s how to access a specific 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 you clicking the customization icon that appears at the top right.
- You will see different sections, click the Show Advanced Settings.
- Go to Privacy, Content settings.
- Click All cookies and site data.
- A list of all the cookies will appear. To make it easier to find the cookies of a given domain, partially or fully enter the address in the file Search cookies.
- After making this filter it will appear on screen one or more lines with the requested website cookies. Now just select it and press X to proceed with removal.
To access the cookie settings in Firefox follow these steps (may vary depending on your browser version):
- Go to Options or Settings.
- Click on Privacy.
- In Histoy section select Use personalized settings.
- You can enable or disable the Accept cookies option.
To access the cookie settings in Internet Explorer follow these steps (may vary depending on your browser version):
- Go to Preferences, Internet options.
- Click on Privacy.
- Move the slider to adjust the level of privacy you want.
To access the cookie settings in Safari for OS X follow these steps (may vary depending on your browser version):
- Go to Settings, Privacy.
- There, there is the option Block cookies to adjust the cookie settings.
To access the cookie settings in Safari for iOS follow these steps (may vary depending on your browser version):
- Go to Settings, Safari.
- Go to Privacy and Security, you will see the option Block cookies to adjust the cookie settings.
To access the cookie settings in Android devices follow these steps (may vary depending on your browser version):
- Open the browser and go to Menu, Settings.
- Go to Security and Privacy, you can enable or disable the Accept cookies option.
To access the cookie settings in Windows Phone devices follow these steps (may vary depending on your browser version)
- Open Internet Explorer, and go to More and Configuration
- You can enable or disable the Allow cookies setting.