What is a cookie?
A cookie is a harmless text file stored in your browser when you visit almost any web page. They are used in order for the website to be able to remember your visit next time you browse that page. Although not many people know this, cookies have been in use for 20 years, since the appearance of the first browsers for the World Wide Web.
What is a cookie NOT?
It is not a virus, a Trojan, a worm, spam or 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 national identity document number, personal information, etc. The details they save are technical in nature, personal preferences, content personalisation, etc.
The web server does not associate to you as a person, but to your web browser. In fact, if you usually browse using Internet Explorer and try to browse the same website with Firefox or Chrome, you will see that the website does not realise that you are the same person because it is actually associating with the browser, not the person.
What types of cookies are there?
- Technical cookies: These are the most basic cookies and they can tell, amongst other features, whether the website is being browsed by a human or by an automated application, an anonymous user or a registered user; this is a basic task for the operation of any dynamic website.
- Analysis cookies: These cookies gather information about the type of browsing being carried out, the most-used sections, products viewed, time zone of use, language, etc.
- Advertising cookies: These cookies display advertising, based on your browsing, country of origin, language, etc.
What are proprietary cookies and third-party cookies?
Proprietary cookies are those generated by the web 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 deactivate cookies?
To help you understand the effects of deactivating cookies, here are some examples:
- You cannot share content from this website on Facebook, Twitter or any other social network.
- The website will not adapt the content to your personal preferences, as often happens in online stores.
- You will not be able to access personal areas of this website, such as My account, My profileor My orders.
- Online stores: You will find it impossible to make online purchases; these will have to be by telephone or by visiting the physical store, if one exists.
- It will not be possible to customise your geographic preferences such as time zone, currency or language.
- The website will not be able to perform web analytics about visitors and web traffic, limiting its competitiveness.
- You will not be able to write on the blog, upload photos, post comments or rate content. And the website will not know if you are a human or an automated application that publishes spam.
- It will not be able to show targeted advertising, reducing its advertising revenues.
Can I delete cookies?
Yes. Not only can you delete them, you can also block them universally or for a specific web domain. To delete cookies from a website, go to your browser’s settings, find those associated with the domain in question, and delete them.
Cookie settings for the most popular browsers
Below, you will find information on how to access a certain cookie if you use access the Internet using Chrome. Please note: These steps may vary, depending on which version of Chrome you are using:
- Go to Settings or Preferences using the File menu or by clicking on the customisation icon that appears in the upper right corner.
- Your will see different sections; click on the Show Advanced Settings
- Go to Privacy, Content settings.
- Select All cookies and website data.
- A list will appear with all cookies sorted by domain. To make it easier to find the cookies from a specific domain, enter part or all of the address in the Search cookies
- After running this filter, one or more lines will appear on screen with the cookies from the website you requested. All you have to do now is select the cookie and click on Xto delete it.
To access cookie settings in Internet Explorer, follow these steps (these may vary, depending on which version of Internet Explorer you are using):
- Go to Tools, Internet Options.
- Click Privacy.
- Move the slider to adjust the level of privacy you want.
To access cookie settings in Firefox, follow these steps (these may vary, depending on which version of Firefox you are using):
- Go to Optionsor Preferences, depending on your operating system.
- Click Privacy.
- In History,choose Use custom settings for history.
- You will now see the Accept Cookies option, which you can enable or disable as you wish.
To access cookie settings in Safari for OSX follow these steps (these may vary, depending on which version of Safari you are using):
- Go to Preferences, then Privacy.
- Here, you will see the option Block Cookiesto adjust the type of blocking you prefer.
To access cookie settings in Safari for iOS follow these steps (these may vary, depending on which version of Safari you are using):
- Go to Settings, then Safari.
- Go to Privacy and Security; you will see the option Block Cookiesto adjust the type of blocking you prefer.
To access cookie settings in Android device browsers, follow these steps (these may vary, depending on which browser version you are using):
- Open the browser and press the Menu button, then Settings.
- Go to Security and Privacy; you will see the option Accept Cookieswhere you can enable or disable the checkbox.
To access cookie settings in Windows Phone device browsers, follow these steps (these may vary depending on which browser version you are using):
- Open Internet Explorer, then More, then
- Now you can enable or disable the Allow Cookies