What is a cookie?
A cookie is a harmless text file that is stored in your browser when you visit almost any website. Cookies are used so the website can remember your visit the next time you visit and browse that page. Although not many people know, cookies have been used for 20 years now, when the first browsers for the World Wide Web appeared.
What a cookie IS NOT
It is not a virus, or a Trojan, or a worm, or spam, or spyware, and it does not 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 data, photographs, your ID number or personal information, etc. Stored data are often technical, personal preferences, contents customisation, etc. The web server does not associate you as a person but your web browser. In fact, if you usually browse with Internet Explorer and try browsing 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 associated with the browser and not with the person.
What type of cookies exist?
- Technical cookies: These are the most basic ones and they allow, among other things, to know whether a human or an automated application is browsing, when an anonymous user or a registered user is browsing, basic tasks for any dynamic website to work properly.
- Analysis cookies: They gather information about the type of browsing you are carrying out, what sections you use the most, products consulted, time zone of use, language, etc.
- Advertising cookies: They show advertising depending on your browsing, your country of origin, language, etc.
What are own cookies and third party cookies?
Own cookies are generated by the page you are visiting, and third-party ones are generated by services or external providers such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc.
What happens if I disable cookies?
We are going to give you some examples so you can understand what happens when you disable cookies:
- You will not be able to share contents of 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 occurs in e-shops.
- You will not be able to access the personal area of that website, such as, for instance, My account, or My Profile or My orders.
- E-shops: You will not be able to shop online, you will have to do this by telephone or visiting the physical shop if there it has one.
- It will not be possible to customise your geographical preferences, such as time zone, currency or language.
- The website will not be able to perform web analyses about visitors or traffic to the site, which will make it difficult for the website to be competitive.
- You will not be able to write in the blog, or post photos, publish comments, evaluate or rate contents. The website will not know if you are a human or an automated application that publishes spam, either.
- It will be impossible to show sectioned advertising, which will reduce the advertising income of the website.
Can cookies be eliminated?
Yes. Not only be eliminate, but blocked, either in general or individually for a specific domain. To eliminate a website’s cookies you must go to the your browser settings and search for the ones associated with the domain in question, and proceed to eliminate them.
Cookies settings for the most popular browsers.
We indicate how to access a specific cookie of the Chrome browser, below. Note: these steps may vary depending on the version of the browser:
- Go to Settings or Preferences using the File menu or by clicking on the customisation icon in the upper right.
- You will see different sections, click on the Show advanced options
- Go to Privacy, Content settings.
- Select All cookies and site data.
- A list with all the cookies sorted by domain will appear. To make it easier for you to find the cookies of a certain domain, enter the partial or full address in the Search for cookies” field.
- After applying this filter, one or several lines will appear on the screen with the cookies of the requested website. Now you only have to select and press X to erase the cookie file.
To access the cookies settings using the Internet Explorer browser, follow these steps (they may vary depending on the version of the browser):
- Go to Tools, Internet Options
- Click on the Privacy
- Move the slider to adjust the privacy level you want.
To access the cookies settings using the Firefox browser, follow these steps (they may vary depending on the version of the browser):
- Go to Options or Preferences according to your operating system.
- Click on the Privacy
- Choose Use custom settings for history in
- Now you will see the Accept cookies option; you can enable or disable it depending on your preferences.
To access the cookies settings using the Safari for OSX browser, follow these steps (they may vary depending on the version of the browser):
- Go to Preferences, then Privacy
- Here you will see the Block cookies option for you to select the cookies you want to block .
To access the cookies settings using the Safari for iOS browser, follow these steps (they may vary depending on the version of the browser):
- Go to Settings, then Safari
- Go to Privacy and Security, where you will see the Block cookies option for you to select the cookies you want to block.
To access the cookies settings for Android devices, follow these steps (they may vary depending on the version of the browser):
- Run the browser and press Menu, then
- Go to Security and Privacy, where you will see the Accept cookies option where you will be able to check or uncheck the box.
To access the cookies settings of the browser for Windows Phone devices, follow these steps (they may vary depending on the version of the browser):
- Run Internet Explorer, then More, then Settings.
- Now you can check or uncheck the Allow cookies box.