What is a cookie?
A cookie is a harmless text file that is stored in your browser when you visit almost any website. Its usefulness is that the website can remember your visit when you browse through that page again. Although many people doesn’t know it, cookies have been in use for 20 years, when the first World Wide Web browsers appeared.
What is NOT a cookie?
It isn’t a virus, or a trojan, or a worm, or spam, or spyware, and it doesn’t open pop-up windows.
What information does a cookie store?
Cookies don’t usually store sensitive information about you, like credit cards or bank data, photographs, your identification or personal information, etc. Stored data is technical, personal preferences, content customization, etc.
The web server doesn’t associate you as a person but your web browser. In fact, if you usually browse with Internet Explorer and you browse through the same website with Forefox or Chrome you will see that the website doesn’t know that you are the same person because it’s actually associating the browser, not the person.
What types of cookies exist?
- Technical cookies: they are the most elementary and they allow, among other things, knowing whether a human or an automated application is browsing, whether an anonymous or registered user is browsing, basic tasks for the operation of any dynamic website.
- Analysis cookies: they collect information about the kind of browsing you are doing, your most used sections, checked products, time zone, language, etc.
- Advertising cookies: they shows ads depending on your browsing, your origin country, language, etc.
What are first and third party cookies?
First party cookies are generated by the website you are visiting and third party cookies are generated by external services or providers like Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc.
What happens if I disable the cookies?
So you can understand the possible consequences of disabling cookies, we show you some examples:
- You won’t be able to share contents of this website on Facebook, Twitter or any other social network.
- The website won’t be able to adapt the content to your personal preferences, as it usually happens on online stores.
- You won’t be able to acces the personal area of this website, like My account, or My profile or My orders.
- Online stores: it will be impossible for you to shop online. You will have to shop by phone or by visiting the physical store if it exists.
- It won’t be possible to customize your geographical preferences like time zone, currency or language.
- The website won’t be able to do web analytics about visitors or traffic, which will increase the difficulty to be competitive.
- You won’t be able to write in the blog, upload pictures, publish comments or rate contents. Also, the website won’t be able to know if you are human or an automated application that publishes spam.
- Sectioned advertising won’t show up, which will reduce advertising income of the website.
Can cookies be deleted?
To delete cookies from a website you must go to your browser configuration and there you can search for cookies related to the domain in question and proceed to their removal.
Cookies configuration for the most popular browsers
Now we will show you how to access a particular cookie in the Chrome browser. P.S.: these steps may vary depending on the browser version:
- Go to Configuration or Preferences using the File menu or clicking the customization icon that appears at the top right corner.
- You will see different sections, click the Show advanced options option.
- Go to Privacy, Content settings.
- Select All cookies and website data.
- A listing with all the cookies ordered by domain will appear. To find the cookies of a particular domain in an easier way, write partially or totally the address in the Search cookies field.
- After this filtering, one or many lines with the requested cookies will appear. Now you only have to select it and click the X to proceed to its removal.
To access the cookies settings of the Internet Explorer browser, follow these steps (they may vary depending on the browser version):
- Go to Tools, Internet settings
- Click on Privacy.
- Move the slider until you reach the privacy level you want.
To access the cookies settings of the Firefox browser, follow these steps (they may vary depending on the browser version):
- Go to Settings or Preferences depending on your operating system.
- Click on Privacy.
- In History choose Use a customized configuration for history.
- Now you will see the Accept cookies option, you can enable or disable it according to your preferences.
To access the cookies settings of the Safari for OSX browser, follow these steps (they may vary depending on the browser version):
- Go to Preferences, then Privacy.
- Here you will see the Block cookies option to configure the kind of blocking you want to perform.
To access the cookies settings of the Safari for iOS browser, follow these steps (they may vary depending on the browser version):
- Go to Settings, then Safari.
- Go to Privacy and Security, you will see the Block cookies option to configure the kind of blocking you want to perform.
To access the browser cookies settings for Android devices, follow these steps (they may vary depending on the browser version):
- Open the browser and press the Menu key, then Settings.
- Go to Privacy and Security, you will see the Accept cookies checkbox that you can enable or disable.
To access the browser cookies settings for Windows Phone devices, follow these steps (they may vary depending on the browser version):
- Open Internet Explorer, then More, then Settings
- Now you can enable or disable the Allow cookies checkbox.