A cookie is a harmless text file that is stored in your browser when you visit almost any web page. The utility of the cookie is that the website is able to remember your visit when you return to browse that page. Although many people do not know, cookies have been used for 20 years, when the first browsers for the World Wide Web appeared.
What a cookie is NOT?
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 usually do not store sensitive information about you, such as credit cards or bank details, photographs, your ID or personal information, etc. The data they save is of a technical nature, personal preferences, personalization of contents, etc.
The web server does not associate you as a person if not your web browser. In fact, if you regularly browse Internet Explorer and try to navigate the same website with Firefox or Chrome, you will see that the website does not realize that you are the same person because you are 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 whether a human or an automated application is browsing, or an anonymous and registered user navigates. They perform the basic tasks for the operation of any dynamic website.
- Analysis cookies: They collect information about the type of navigation you are doing, the sections you use most, products consulted, time zone of use, language, etc.
- Advertising cookies: They show advertising based 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 of third parties cookies are those generated by external services or providers such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc.
What happens if I disable cookies?
To understand what happens if you disable cookies we show some examples:
- You may 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, as is usually the case 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 not be able to make online purchases, they will have to be done by telephone or visiting the physical store if you have it.
- 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, you will not be able to upload photos, post comments, rate or rate content. The web will also not know if you are a human or an automated application that publishes spam.
- Sectorized advertising cannot be displayed, which will reduce the advertising revenue of the web.
Can cookies be deleted?
Yes. Not only be deleted, but also blocked, in a general or particular way 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 to the domain in question and proceed to its removal.
Cookie settings for the most popular browsers
Here’s how to access a specific Chrome browser cookie. Note: these steps may vary depending on the browser version:
- Go to Settings or Preferences through the File menu or by clicking the customization icon that appears at the top right.
- You will see different sections, click on the option Show advanced options.
- Go to Privacy, Content Settings.
- Select All cookies and site data.
- A list will appear with all cookies ordered by domain. To make it easier for you to find cookies from a specific domain, enter the address partially or totally in the Search cookies field.
- After performing this filter, one or more lines will appear on the screen with the cookies of the requested website. Now you just have to select it and press the X to proceed with its removal.
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 level of privacy you want.
To access the cookie settings of the Firefox browser follow these steps (they may vary depending on the browser version):
- Go to Options or Preferences according to your operating system.
- Click on Privacy.
- In History choose Use custom settings for history.
- Now you will 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 (they may vary depending on the browser version):
- Go to Preferences, then Privacy.
- In this place you will see the option Block cookies to adjust the type of blocking you want to perform.
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 to adjust the type of blocking you want to perform.
To access the browser cookie settings for Android devices 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 option Accept cookies to enable or disable 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 box.