A cookie is a harmless text file that is stored in your browser when you visit almost any website. Cookies are used for websites to be able to remember your visit when you browse that site once again. Even though many people do not know it, cookies have been in use for 20 years, when the first World Wide Web browsers emerged.
What is a cookie?
What a cookie is not
It is not a virus, trojan, worm, spam, spyware, nor does it open pop-up windows.
What information does a cookie store?
Cookies do not usually store sensible information about you, such as credit cards or bank accounts, photographs, your ID card, or personal information, etc. Data stored is technical, such as personal preferences, content personalization, etc. The web server does not associate with you as a person, but with your web browser instead. In fact, if you usually browse a website using Internet Explorer and try to browse that same site using Firefox or Chrome, you will notice that the website does not realize that you are the same person, because it is in fact associated with the browser, not the person.
What types of cookies are there?
- Technical cookies: These are the most basic ones and allow, among others, to know when a human or an automated applications is browsing, or when an anonymous user is browsing and when a registered one is doing so – basic tasks for the operation of any dynamic website.
- Analysis cookies: They collect information about the type of browsing in progress, the sections you use the most, products seen, times of use, language, etc.
- Advertisement cookies: They display advertisements based on your browsing, country of origin, language, etc.
What are first and third-party cookies?
First-party cookies are those generated by the website you are visiting, and third-party cookies are generated by external services or providers such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc.
Can cookies be deleted?
Yes. Not only can they be deleted, but also blocked in general or in particular for a specific domain. In order to delete cookies from a website you should access your browser configuration and there, you will be able to find those associated with the domain in question and delete them.
Cookie configuration for the most popular browsers.
- In order to access the configuration of cookies in the Safari browser, follow the instructions in this link.
- In order to access the configuration of cookies in the Firefox browser, follow the instructions in this link.
- In order to access the configuration of cookies in the Chrome browser, follow the instructions in this link.
- In order to access the configuration of cookies in the Edge, browser, follow these steps:
- Access the icon labeled “Hub,” which is located on the top-right and has an image of three horizontal lines.
- Select the icon shown as a watch, corresponding to the browsing history.
- A list with all the pages that have been recently visited appears and, in order to manage cookies, you need to access to option to “Delete” the entire history.
- A new window appears showing many options, including one for deleting the browser’s cookies.
- In order to access the cookie configuration in Internet Explorer follow these steps (they may vary depending on the browser’s version):
- Access “Tools,” “Internet Options”.
- Click on “Privacy”.
- Adjust the desired level of privacy.
- In order to access the cookie configuration of the browser for Android devices follow these steps; they may however vary depending on the browser’s version:
- Open the browser and press the “Menu” button, then “Adjustments”.
- Access “Security” and “Privacy”. You will see the option to “Accept Cookies” for activation or deactivation.
- In order to access the cookie configuration of the browser for Windows Phone devices follow these steps, which may vary depending on the installed version:
- Open Internet Explorer, then “More” and subsequently “Configuration”.
- Now you may activate or deactivate the option to “Allow cookies”.