What is a cookie?
A cookie is a small, harmless text file that is stored in your browser when you visit almost any website. Its purpose is to remember your visit the next time you browse the website. Although many people are unaware of this, cookies have been in use for 20 years, ever since the first World Wide Web browsers came into existence.e into existence.
What a cookie IS NOT.
A cookie is not a virus, a Trojan, a worm, spam, spyware or a pop-up window.
What information does a cookie store?
Cookies are not used to store sensitive information about yourself, such as credit cards or bank data, photographs, your ID or personal information, etc. The data they store are of a technical nature, personal preferences, content personalisation, etc.
The web server is not associated to you as a person, but to your web browser. In fact, if you usually browse a website using Internet Explorer and then try browsing with Firefox or Chrome, you’ll see that the website does not realize you’re the same person, because it is actually associating with the browser, not with a person.
What kinds of cookies are there?
- Technical cookies: These are the simplest and among other things, make it possible to know whether a human being or an automated application is browsing, or whether it’s an anonymous or a registered user browsing, which are basic to the operation of a dynamic website.
- Analytical cookies: These collect information on the kind of browsing you’re doing, the sections you use the most, the products browsed, your time zone, language, etc.
- Advertising cookies: These show advertising related to your browsing habits, the country you live in, your language, etc.
What are own cookies and third-party cookies?
Own cookies are those generated by the website you’re visiting, whereas third-partycookies are generated by outside services or providers such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc.
What happens if I disable cookies?
Here are some examples of what can happen when you disable cookies:
- You won’t be able to share content from that website on Facebook, Twitter or other social media.
- The website won’t be able to adjust content to your personal preferences, as tends to happen on online shops.
- You won’t be able to access the personal area of that website, such as My account, My profileor My orders.
- You won’t be able to do online shopping; you’ll either have to shop by phone or visit the physical shop, if one exists.
- It won’t be possible to customise your geographical preferences such as your time zone, currency and language.
- The website won’t be able to conduct web analytics regarding website visitors and traffic, which makes it harder for the website to be competitive.
- You won’t be able to write on the blog, upload photos, post comments, and assess or rate content. The website won’t know if you’re a person or an automated application that posts spam.
- Sectored advertising won’t be shown, thus reducing the website’s income from advertising.
Can cookies be eliminated?
Yes. Not just eliminated, but also blocked, either completely or for a specific domain.
To eliminate cookies from a website, go to your browser settings, where you can search for cookies associated with a given domain and eliminate them.
Cookies settings for the most popular browsers
We’ll now show you how to access a given cookie on the Chrome web browser. Please note that these steps may vary depending on what version of Chrome you’re using:
- Go to Settings or Preferences on the File menu, or click on the customisation icon at the top right-hand corner.
- Different sections will appear: click on Show advanced options.
- Go to Privacy, then to Content settings.
- Select All cookies and website data.
- You’ll see a list with all the cookies arranged by domain. To make it easier to find a given domain’s cookies, enter part or all of the address in the Search for cookies
- On using this filter you’ll see one or several lines appear on your screen, listing the requested website’s cookies. All you need to do now is select and click on the X to disable them.
To access the cookies setting on Internet Explorer, follow these steps (these may vary depending on your version of Internet Explorer):
- Go to Tools, then to Internet options
- Click on Privacy.
- Slide your cursor to adjust the desired level of privacy.
To access the cookies settings on Firefox, follow these steps (these may vary depending on your version of Firefox):
Go to Options or Preferences, depending on your operating system.
- Click on Privacy.
- In History select Use a customised History setting.
- You’ll then see the Accept cookies option, which you can enable or disable as desired.
To access the cookies settings on the Safari browser for OS X, follow these steps (these may vary depending on your version of Safari):
- Go to Preferences, then to Privacy.
- You’ll see the Block cookies option, where you can adjust the desired blocking level.
To access the cookies settings on the Safari browser for ios, follow these steps (these may vary depending on your version of Safari):
- Go to Settings, then to Safari.
- Go to Privacy and Security, where you’ll see the Block cookies option, and adjust the type of blocking as desired.
To access the cookies settings for Android devices, follow these steps (these may vary depending on your version of Android):
- Run the browser and press Menu, then Settings
- Go to Security and Privacy where you’ll see the Accept cookies option which you can enable or disable.
To access the cookies settings on the Windows Phone devices browser, follow these steps (these may vary depending on your browser version):
- Open Internet Explorer, then More, then Settings