Santi Alvarez

What is a cookie?

A cookie is a harmless text file that is stored in your browser when you visit almost any website. The purpose of the cookie is to enable the website to remember your visit when you browse that page again. Although many people don’t know it, cookies have been used for 20 years since the first web browsers for the World Wide Web appeared.

What is NOT a cookie?

A cookie is not a virus, a Trojan, a worm, spam, spyware, or a pop-up window.

What information does a cookie store?

Cookies usually do not store sensitive information about you, such as credit card or banking details, photographs, your ID card, or personal information. The data they store is technical, personal preferences, content personalization, etc.

The web server does not associate you as a person, but with your web browser. In fact, if you regularly browse with Internet Explorer and try to browse the same website with Firefox or Chrome, you will notice that the website does not realize that you are the same person because it is actually associating with the browser, not the person.

What types of cookies are there?

  • Technical Cookies: These are the most basic cookies that allow you to know when a human is browsing or an automated application, whether an anonymous or registered user is browsing, basic tasks for the functioning of any dynamic website.
  • Analytical Cookies: They collect information about the type of navigation you are doing, the sections you use most, consulted products, usage time slot, language, etc.
  • Advertising Cookies: They display advertising based on your browsing, your country of origin, language, etc.

 

What are first-party cookies 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 disable cookies?

To understand the scope of disabling cookies, we show you a few examples:

  • 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 the content to your personal preferences, as is usually the case with online stores.
  • You will not be able to access the personal area of that website, such as My account, My profile, or My orders.
  • Online stores: You will not be able to make purchases online, they will have to be made by phone or by visiting the physical store if there is one.
  • You will not be able to personalize your geographic preferences such as time slot, currency, or language.
  • The website will not be able to carry out web analytics on visitors and traffic on the website, making it difficult for the website to be competitive.
  • You will not be able to write on the blog, upload photos, post comments, rate or score content. The website will also not be able to tell if you are a human or an automated application that publishes spam.
  • Targeted advertising cannot be displayed, reducing the website’s advertising revenues.
  • All social networks use cookies, if you deactivate them, you will not be able to use any social network.

Can cookies be deleted?

Yes. Not only delete, but also block, either generally or specifically for a specific domain.

To delete cookies from a website, go to your browser settings and there you can search for those associated with the domain in question and proceed to delete them.

Here’s how to access a particular cookie on the Chrome browser. Note: these steps may vary depending on the browser version:

  1. Go to Settings or Preferences through the File menu or by clicking the customization icon that appears above and to the right.
  2. You will see different sections, click the Show advanced options option.
  3. Go to Privacy, Content Settings.
  4. Select All cookies and site data.
  5. A list will appear with all the cookies sorted by domain. To make it easier to find cookies from a particular domain, partially or completely enter the address in the Search cookies field.
  6. After applying this filter, one or several lines with the requested website’s cookies will appear on the screen. Now you just have to select it and press the X to proceed with its deletion.

To access the cookie settings of the Internet Explorer browser, follow these steps (they may vary depending on the browser version):

  1. Go to Tools, Internet Options.
  2. Click on Privacy.
  3. Move the slider to adjust the desired level of privacy.

To access the cookie settings of the Firefox browser, follow these steps (they may vary depending on the browser version):

  1. Go to Options or Preferences depending on your operating system.
  2. Click on Privacy.
  3. In History, choose Use a custom configuration for history.
  4. Now you will see the Accept cookies option, you can activate or deactivate it according to your preferences.

To access the cookie settings of the Safari browser for OSX, follow these steps (they may vary depending on the browser version):

  1. Go to Preferences, then Privacy.
  2. In this place, you will see the Block cookies option to adjust the type of blocking you want to make.

To access the cookie settings of the Safari browser for iOS, follow these steps (they may vary depending on the browser version):

  1. Go to Settings, then Safari.
  2. Go to Privacy and Security, you will see the Block cookies option to adjust the type of blocking you want to make.

To access the cookie settings of the browser for Android devices, follow these steps (they may vary depending on the browser version):

  1. Run the browser and press the Menu key, then Settings.
  2. Go to Security and Privacy, you will see the Accept cookies option to activate or deactivate the box.

To access the cookie settings of the browser for Windows Phone devices, follow these steps (they may vary depending on the browser version):

  1. Open Internet Explorer, then More, then Settings.
  2. Now you can activate or deactivate the Allow cookies checkbox.

Photography credits:

Home: Osman Arabacı

Projects: Ahadi Muyal, Ganta Srinivas

Publications: Pixabay, Egor Kamelev, Andrea Schettino, Felix Rottmann

Contact: Jan Van der Wolf