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 that websites can remember your visit when you browse them again later. Although a lot of people don’t know about cookies, they have been used for 20 years, since the first browsers were developed for the World Wide Web.
What ISN’T a cookie?
A cookie isn’t a virus, a Trojan, a worm, spam or spyware, and it doesn’t open pop-up windows.
What information is stored by cookies?
Cookies do not usually store sensitive information about you, such as credit card or bank account details, photographs, your ID or personal information etc. The data stored is technical, relating to personal preferences, content personalisation etc.
The web server does not associate the data stored to you as an individual but rather to your web browser. In fact, if you normally browse with Internet Explorer and you try to browse the same website with Firefox or Chrome, you will see that the website does not realise that you are the same person because the data stored is actually associated with the browser, not the individual.
What kind of cookies are there?
- Technical cookies: These are the most basic cookies and allow, among other things, websites to know when a person or an automated application is browsing, when an anonymous user or a registered user is browsing, basic tasks for the operation of any dynamic website.
- Analytics cookies: These collect information on the type of browsing being done, the sections that are used the most, consulted products, time slot of use, language etc.
- Advertising cookies: These display advertising based on your browsing, country of origin, language etc.
What are proprietary cookies and third-party cookies?
Proprietary cookies are generated by the webpage you are visiting and third-party cookies are generated by external services or providers like Facebook, Twitter or Google etc.
What happens if I disable cookies?
To understand what may happen if you disable cookies, we’ll give you some examples below:
- You will not be able to share the website’s content on Facebook, Twitter or any other social network.
- The website will not be able to adapt its content to your personal preferences, as usually happens in online stores.
- You will not be able to access the website’s personal areas, including My account, My profile or My orders.
- Online stores: It will be impossible to make online purchases; purchases will have to be made over the phone or by visiting the physical store if there is one available.
- It will not be possible to customise your geographic preferences such as the time zone, currency or language.
- The website will not be able to perform web analytics on its visitors and traffic, thereby making it difficult for the website to be competitive.
- You will not be able to add to blogs, upload photos, post comments or assess or rate content. The website will not be able to know whether you are a person or an automated application publishing spam.
- It will not be possible to display sectorised advertising, which will reduce the website’s advertising revenue.
Can I delete cookies?
Yes. You can not only delete cookies, but you can also block them in general or individually for a specific domain.
To delete cookies from a website, you need to go to your browser settings, find the cookies associated with the domain in question and then delete them.
Configuring cookies for the most popular browsers
We will now show you how to access a particular cookie in Chrome. Note: these steps may vary depending on the browser version.
- Go to Settings or Preferences via the File menu or through the customisation icon at the top right.
- You will see different sections, choose Show advanced settings.
- Go to Privacy and Content settings.
- Select All cookies and site data.
- A list of all the cookies will come up, ordered by domain. To make it easier to find cookies from a particular domain, partially or completely enter the address in the Search cookies
- After applying this filter, one or more lines with the cookies from the requested website will come up on screen. Now simply select and click X to remove the particular cookie.
To access cookie settings in Internet Explorer, follow these steps (they may vary depending on the browser version):
- Go to Tools and Internet options
- Choose Privacy.
- Move the slider to adjust the level of privacy you want.
To access cookie settings in Firefox, follow these steps (they may vary depending on the browser version):
- Go to Options or Preferences, depending on your operating system.
- Choose Privacy.
- In History, choose Use custom settings for history.
- Now you will see the Accept cookies option, you can activate or disable it depending on your preferences.
To access cookie settings in Safari for OSX, follow these steps (they may vary depending on the browser version):
- Go to Preferences, then Privacy.
- You will then see the Block cookies option to choose the kind of block you want.
To access cookie settings in 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 you will see the Block cookies option to choose the kind of block you want.
To access cookie settings in browsers for Android devices, follow these steps (they may vary depending on the browser version):
- Open the browser and press Menu, then Settings.
- Go to Security and privacy, then you will see the Accept cookies option to check or uncheck the box.
To access cookie settings in browsers for Windows Phone devices, follow these steps (they may vary depending on the browser version):
- Open Internet Explorer, then More and Settings
- You can now check or uncheck the Allow cookies