What is a cookie?
A cookie is an inoffensive text file stored in your browser when you visit almost any website. It is used so the site can remember your visit when you browse it again. Many people don't know it but cookies have been in use for the past 20 years, ever since the first World Wide Web browsers appeared.
What is a cookie NOT?
It is not a virus, a Trojan horse or a worm. It is not spam or spyware and it does not open a pop-up window.
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 document or personal information, etc. The data that is saved is technical in nature and includes personal preferences, content personalisation, etc.
The web server does not associate with you as a person but rather with your web browser. In fact, if you regularly browse with Internet Explorer and try browsing the same site with Firefox or Chrome, you will see that the website doesn't realise you are the same person because in fact it is associating with the browser, not the person.
What type of cookies exist?
- Technical cookies. These are the most elemental ones and make it possible to know, among other things, how a person or an automated app is browsing and when an anonymous or registered user is browsing, i.e., basic tasks for operating any web dynamic.
- Analysis cookies: These collect information on the type of browsing being done, the sections most commonly used, products consulted, use time range, language, etc.
- Advertising cookies: These display advertising according to your browsing habits, the country you log in from, language, etc.
What happens if I disable cookies?
Own cookies are generated by the site you are visiting, while third-party cookies are generated by external services or providers such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc.
What happens if I disable cookies?
Below are a number of examples of the impact that disabling cookies can have:
- You won't be able to share the site content on Facebook, Twitter or any other social network.
- The site won't be able to adapt content to your personal preferences, as usually happens with online stores.
- You won't be able to access the site’s personal area, such as, for example, My Account, My Profile or My Orders.
- Online stores: You won't be able to make online purchases and will have to place orders over the phone or visit the physical store if there is one.
- You won’t be able to personalise your geographic preferences such as time range, currency or language.
- The site won't be able to perform web analytics on site visitors and traffic, making it
hard for it to be competitive.
- You won't be able to write on the blog or upload photos, publish comments, assess or score content. The site won't know whether you are a person or an automated app publishing spam.
- NIt won't be able to display sector-specific advertising, reducing site advertising revenue.
Can cookies be deleted?
Yes. Not just deleted - they can also be blocked, either generally or on a particular basis for a specific domain.
To delete cookies from a website, go your browser settings and find the ones associated with the domain in question so you can start to delete them.
Cookie settings for the most popular browsers
Below we show you how to access a particular cookie from the Chrome browser. NB: these steps may vary depending on browser version:
- Go to Settings or Preferences via the File menu or by clicking on the personalisation icon that appears at the top right-hand side of the screen.
- You will see different sections - click on Advanced.
- Under Privacy and Security, click Content Settings.
- Select All cookies and site data.
- A list will appear with all the cookies organised by domains. To make it easier to find the cookies of a particular domain, partially or fully enter the address in the Search cookies field.
- After running this filter, one or various lines with the cookies of the sought website will appear on-screen. Now you just have to select it and click on X to delete.
Follow the steps below to access the Internet Explorer browser cookie settings (may vary depending on browser version):
- Go to Tools, Internet Options
- Click on Privacy..
- Scroll down to adjust the privacy level you want.
Follow the steps below to access the Firefox browser cookie settings (may vary depending on browser version):
- 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 enable or disable it according to your preferences.
Follow the steps below to access the Safari for OSX browser cookie settings (may vary depending on browser version):
- Go to Preferences, then Privacy.
- Here you will see the Block cookies option to adjust the type of blocking you wish to make.
Follow the steps below to access the Safari for iOS browser cookie settings (may vary depending on browser version):
- Go to Adjustments, then Safari.
- Go to Privacy and Security. Here you will see the Block cookies option to adjust the type of blocking you wish to make.
Follow the steps below to access the Android browser cookie settings (may vary depending on browser version):
- Run the browser and click on Menu, then Adjustments.
- Go to Security and Privacy. You will see the Accept cookies option to enable or disable the box.
Follow the steps below to access the Windows Phone browser cookie settings (may vary depending on browser version):
- Open Internet Explorer, then More, then Settings
- Now you can enable or disable the Permit cookies box.