What is a cookie?
A cookie is a harmless text file that is stored in your browser when you visit almost any web page. The purpose of the cookie is for the website to be able to remember your visit when you return to that page. Although many people are unaware, cookies have been in use for 20 years now, when the first browsers for the World Wide Web were introduced.
What IS NOT a cookie?
A virus, Trojan, worm, spam, spyware or pop-up windows are not cookies.
What information does a cookie store?
Cookies do not usually store sensitive information about you, such as credit cards or bank details, photographs, your personal ID number or personal information, etc. They store data of a technical nature, personal preferences, content customisation, etc.
The web server does not link to you as a person but to your web browser. In fact, if you regularly browse using Internet Explorer and try browsing the same website using Firefox or Chrome, you will see that the website won’t know you are the same person because it is actually linked to the browser, not the person.
What kind of cookies are there?
- Technical Cookies: They are the most basic types of cookies and enable, among other things, the ability to know when a human being or an automated application is browsing, when an anonymous user and a registered user are browsing, basic tasks for the operation of any dynamic website.
- Analysis Cookies: They gather information about the type of navigation being made, the sections most frequently used, the products viewed, the time zone of use, language, etc.
- Advertising cookies: They display advertising depending on your browsing activity, your country of origin, language, etc.
What are proprietary and third-party cookies?
Proprietary cookies are those generated by the website 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 disable cookies?
To help you understand the extent to which you can disable cookies, here are a few examples:
- You may not share content from that website on Facebook, Twitter or any other social network.
- The website will not be able to adapt the content to your personal preferences, as is often the case in online shops.
- You will not be able to access that site’s private area, such as My Account, My Profile or My Orders.
- Online shops: You will be unable to make online purchases, they will have to be made by calling or visiting the physical store, if available.
- You will not be able to customise 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 post on the blog, upload photographs, post comments, rate or score content. The website will also be unable to know whether you are a human or an automated application that posts spam
- It will not be possible to show segmented advertising, which will reduce the website’s advertising revenue.
Can cookies be deleted?
Yes. Not only removed, but also blocked, in general or individually for a specific domain.
To delete cookies from a website, you must navigate to your browser settings and search for cookies associated with the relevant domain in order to delete them.
Cookies configuration for the most popular browsers
Please find below the information on how to access a specific cookie from your Chrome browser. Note: These steps may vary depending on the browser version:
- Go to Settings or Preferences via the File menu or by clicking on the customisation icon at the top right hand side.
- You will see different sections, click on Show advanced options
- Go to Privacy, Content Settings
- Select All cookies and site data
- A summary listing all cookies sorted by domain will appear. To make it easier for you to find cookies for a particular domain, enter the full or partial URL in the Search cookies field.
- After this filter has been made, one or more lines will appear on screen with the cookies from the requested website. Now simply select it and press X to delete it.
To access the cookie settings of your Internet Explorer browser, follow these steps (these may vary depending on your browser version):
- Go to Tools, Internet Options
- Click on Privacy
- Move the slider until the desired privacy level is set.
To access the cookie settings of your Firefox browser, follow these steps (these may vary depending on your browser version):
- Go to Options or Preferences depending on your operating system.
- Click on Privacy
- Under History, choose Use a custom configuration for history
- You will now see the Accept cookies option, you can enable or disable it according to your preferences.
To access the cookie settings on your Safari for OSX browser, follow these steps (these may vary depending on your browser version):
- Go to Preferences, then Privacy
- You will find here the Block Cookies option to configure the type of blocking you wish to perform.
To access the cookie settings of your Safari for iOS browser, follow these steps (these may vary depending on your browser version):
- Go to Settings, then Safari
- Go to Privacy and Security, you will find here the Block Cookies option to configure the type of blocking you wish to perform.
To access the cookie settings of your Android device browser, follow these steps (these may vary depending on your browser version):
- Open the browser and press the Menu key, then Settings
- Go to Security and Privacy, you will find the Accept cookies option to enable or disable the check box.
To access the cookie settings of your Windows Phone browser, follow these steps (these may vary depending on your browser version):
- Open Internet Explorer, then More, then Settings
- You can now enable or disable the Allow cookies check box.