What is a cookie?
A cookie is a harmless text file that is stored in your browser when you visit almost any website. The utility of the cookie is that the website is able to remember your visit when you navigate again on that page. Although many people don’t know, cookies have been used for over 20 years, when the first World Wide Web browsers appeared.
What is NOT a cookie?
It is not a virus, nor a Trojan, nor a worm, nor spam, nor spyware, nor opens 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, photos, your ID number or personal information, etc. The data stored is of a technical nature, personal preferences, content customization, etc.
The web server does not associate you as a person, it associates your web browser. In fact, if you regularly browse a website 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 you are actually associating the browser, not the person.
What type of cookies are there?
- Technical Cookies: These are the most basic and allow, among other things, to know when a human or an automated application is navigating, when an anonymous user or a registered user navigates, basic tasks for the operation of any dynamic web.
- Analysis Cookies: They collect information about the navigation type, the sections you use the most, viewed products, usage time zone, language, etc.
- Advertising Cookies: They show advertising based on your navigation habits, your country of origin, language, etc.
What are first-party and third-party cookies?
First-party cookies are those generated by the website you are visiting and those of third parties are generated by external services or providers such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc.
What happens if I disable cookies?
To better understand the repercussion of disabling cookies, we give 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 is often the case with online stores.
- You will not be able to access the personal area of that website, such as My account, My profile or My orders.
- Online stores: You will not be able to make online purchases, you would have to do your shopping by phone or visit the physical store if there is one.
- 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, upload photos, post comments or rate content. Also, the website will not know if you are a human or an automated application that publishes spam.
- You will not be able to show sectorized advertising, which will reduce the advertising revenues of the website.
Can cookies be deleted?
Yes. They cannot just be deleted but also blocked for all domains or a specific one.
To remove cookies from a website, you must go to your browser’s settings, look for the cookies associated with the domain in question and proceed to delete them.
Cookie settings for the most popular browsers
Here’s how to access a specific cookie using Chrome. Note: These steps may vary depending on your browser version:
- Go to Settings the File menu or by clicking the customization icon at the top right.
- You will see different sections, click on Show advanced settings.
- 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 particular domain, start typing the address in the Search for cookies field.
- By doing so, a list with the cookies of the requested domain will be displayed. Now you just have to select the cookie and press the X to proceed to its elimination.
To access the cookie settings on Internet Explorer follow these steps (they may vary depending on the browser version):
- Go to Tools, Internet Options
- Click on Privacy.
- Adjust the slider to the desired privacy level.
To access the cookie settings on Firefox follow these steps (they may vary depending on the browser version):
- Go to Options or Preferences depending on your operating system.
- Click on Privacy.
- In History choose Use custom settings for history.
- You will now see the Accept cookies from sites option, you can enable or disable it according to your preferences.
To access the cookie settings on Safari for OSX follow these steps (they may vary depending on the browser version):
- Go to Preferences, then Privacy.
- Here you will see the Block cookies option where you can select the type of block that you want to apply.
To access the cookie settings on Safari for iOS follow these steps (they may vary depending on the browser version):
- Go to Settings, then Safari.
- Go to Privacy and Security, then go to Cookies where you can select the type of block that you want to apply.
To access your browser’s cookie settings on Android devices follow these steps (they may vary depending on the browser version):
- Run the browser and go to Menu, then Settings.
- Go to Security and Privacy, you will see the Accept cookies option which you can enable or disable.
To access your browser’s cookie settings on Windows Phone devices follow these steps (they may vary depending on the browser version):
- Open Internet Explorer, then click on More, then Settings
- You can now check or uncheck the Allow cookies option.