What is a cookie?
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 web is able to remember your visit when you return to browse that page. Although many people do not know it, cookies have been used for 20 years, when the first browsers for the World Wide Web appeared.
WHAT IS NOT a cookie?
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 do not usually store sensitive information about you, such as credit cards or bank details, photographs, your ID or personal information, etc. The data they keep is of a technical nature, personal preferences, personalization of content, etc.
The web server does not associate you as a person but rather your web browser. In fact, if you regularly browse with Internet Explorer and try browsing the same website with Firefox or Chrome, you will see that the website does not realize that you are the same person because it is actually associating the browser, not the person.
What kind of cookies are there?
- Technical cookies: They are the most basic and allow, among other things, to know when a human or an automated application is browsing, when an anonymous and registered user is browsing, which are 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 the most, products consulted, time slot 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 the third-party’s are those generated by external services or providers such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc.
What happens if I disable cookies?
To understand the scope of disabling cookies, we show you some examples:
- You will not be able to 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 usually happens 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: It will be impossible for you to make online purchases, you will have to do them by phone or visiting the physical store if there is one.
- It will not be possible to customize your geographic 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 web to be competitive.
- You will not be able to write on the blog, you will not be able to upload photos, post comments, value or rate content. The web will also not be able to know if you are a human or an automated application that publishes spam.
Can cookies be removed?
Yes. Not only 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 related with the domain in question and proceed to delete them.
Cookie settings for the most popular browsers
Here we indicate how to access a specific cookie from the Chrome browser. Note: these steps may vary depending on the version of the browser:
- Go to Settings or Preferences through the File menu or by clicking on the personalization icon that appears at the top right.
- You will see different sections, click the Show advanced options option.
- Go to Privacy, Content settings.
- Select All cookies and site data.
- A list will appear with all the cookies organized by domain. To make it easier for you to find the cookies for a given 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 from 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 (they 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 version of the browser):
- Go to Options or Preferences depending on your operating system.
- Click on Privacy.
- Under History choose Use custom settings for history.
- Now you will see the option Accept cookies, you can activate or deactivate 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 so that you can adjust the type of blocking you want to perform.
To access the cookie settings of the Safari browser for iOS 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 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 cookie settings of the browser for Windows Phone devices, follow these steps (they may vary depending on the browser version):
- Open Internet Explorer, then More, then Settings
- You can now enable or disable the Allow cookies box.