¿What is a cookie?
A cookie is a harmless text file that is stored in your browser when you visit almost any webpage. The usefulness of the cookie is that the website will be capable of remembering your visit when you return to browse the site again. Although many people don’t know this, cookies have been used for the last 20 years, when the first browsers for the World Wide Web showed up.
What IS NOT a cookie?
It is not a virus, or a trojan, or a computer worm, or spam, or 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 card or bank data, photographs, your ID number or personal information, etc. The data that is stored is technical, personal preferences, content personalization, etc.
The web server does not associate you as a person, but your web browser. In fact, if you usually browse using Internet Explorer and try to browse the same web site using Firefox or Chrome, you will see that the web site does not realize you are the same person, because it is associated to the web browser, not to the person.
What types of cookies exist?
- Technical cookies: These are the most elementary and allow, among other things, knowing whether a human or an automatized application are browsing, whether an anonymous or a registered user is browsing, basic tasks for the operation of any dynamic web page.
- Analysis cookies: These gather information about the type of browsing, sections visited most, products being looked up, time of use, language, etc.
- Publicity cookies: These will show ads depending on your type of browsing, country of origin, language, etc.
What are first party and third party cookies?
First party cookies are those generated by the page you are visiting, and third party cookies are those generated by external services or providers such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc.
What happens if I deactivate cookies?
So as to understand the scope of what deactivating cookies means, following we show you some examples:
- You will not be able to share contents in the website on Facebook, Twitter or any other social network.
- The website will not adapt its contents to your preferences, such as happens in online stores.
- You will not be able to access the personal area in a website, such as for example My Account, My Profile or My Orders.
- Online stores: You will not be able to shop online. Ordering will have to be by telephone or visiting the physical shop if it exists.
- It will not be possible to personalize geographical preferences such as local time, currency or language.
- The website will not be able to analyze visitors and web traffic, which will make it more difficult for the website to be competitive.
- You will not be able to write in the blog, or upload photos, write comments rate or grade contents. The website will also not be able to discern if you are a human user or an automatized application publishing spam.
- It will not be possible to show targeted ads, which will reduce website advertising revenues.
Can cookies be eliminated?
Yes. Not only eliminated, also blocked, in a general manner or those from a particular domain.
To eliminate cookies from a website you must go to your web browser’s configuration and look for those associated to the domain in question and proceed to eliminate them.
Cookie configuration for most popular browsers
Below we will indicate how to access a particular cookie in the Chrome browser.
Note: these steps may vary depending on the version of the browser:
- Go to Configuration or Preferences through the File menu, or clicking the personalization icon on the top right corner.
- You will see various sections. Click on Show Advanced Options.
- Go to Privacy, Content Configuration.
- Select All Cookies and site data.
- A listing with all cookies ordered by domain. So that it is easier to find the cookies of a particular domain type in its partial or complete address in the Search Cookies field.
- After using this filter one or more lines with the cookies from the requested website will show in the screen. Now you only need to select them and click on X to eliminate them.
To access cookie configuration in the Internet Explorer browser, follow these steps (may vary depending on the version of the browser):
- Go to Tools, Internet Options.
- Click on Privacy.
- Move the slide to adjust the level of privacy that you want.
To access cookie configuration in the Firefox browser, follow these steps (may vary depending on the version of the browser):
- Go to Options or Preferences, depending on your Operating System.
- Click on Privacy.
- In History, choose Use Custom Settings for History.
- Now you will see the Accept Cookies option. You can activate or de-activate it according to your preferences.
To access cookie configuration in the Safari for OS X browser, follow these steps (may vary depending on the version of the browser):
- Go to Preferences, then Privacy.
- Here you will see the Block Cookies option to adjust the type of blocking you wish to set up.
To access cookie configuration in the Safari for iOS browser, follow these steps (may vary depending on the version of the browser):
- Go to settings, then to Safari.
- Go to Privacy and Security, you will see the Block Cookies option to adjust the type of blocking you wish to set up.
To access cookie configuration in the browser for android devices, follow these steps (may vary depending on the version of the browser):
- Open the browser and click on Menu, then Settings.
- Go to Security and Privacy, you will see the Accept Cookies option, which you can check or uncheck.
To access cookie configuration in the browser for Windows phone devices, follow these steps (may vary depending on the version of the browser):
- Open Internet Explorer, then More, then Configuration.
- Now you can activate or de-activate the Allow Cookies box.