More information about cookies.
What is a cookie?
A cookie is an innocent text file that is stored on your computer´s search engine after visiting almost any web-site, this way the internet will remember your visit for the next time you search that site. Most people don´t know this, but cookies have been around for 20 years, ever since the first World Wide Web browsers where developed.
A cookie isn´t…
A cookie isn´t a virus, or a Trojan, or a worm, or Spam, or spyware, and it doesn´t open pop-up pages.
What information does a cookie store?
A cookie doesn´t usually store sensitive information about you such as bank details, photos, ID, personal information, etc. It stores technical data, personal preferences, content customization, etc.
The web server doesn´t associate you as an actual person, it registers your web browser. What´s more, if you usually use Internet Explorer, for example, and switch to Firefox or Chrome you´ll notice that the web doesn´t realize that you are the same person because it is associated to the browser, not the user.
What types of cookies are there?
- Technical cookies: They are the most basic of all cookies and can tell whether the user is a human or automated application, when the user is a registered user or anonymous, they are basic tasks that any dynamic web-page needs to function.
- Analytical cookies: They gather information about the type of browsing that is being done: The most used page, viewed products, what are the most popular times the page is visited, language, etc.
- Publicity cookies: They show adds based on the browser history, country, language, etc.
Difference between a page´s own cookies, and those of third parties:
A web´s own cookies are generated by the web itself, whereas third party cookies are exactly that, generated by external services or providers such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc.
What happens when I deactivate cookies?
So you can understand the effect that deactivating cookies can have, please read the following examples:
- You won’t be able to share the web´s contents on Facebook, Twitter or any other social network site.
- The web-site won´t be able to adapt its contents to your personal preferences, this usually happens with online shopping sites.
- You won´t be able to access the personal area of the site, such as My account, My profile, or My orders.
- Online shopping: You won´t be able to order anything online, it would have to be via telephone or at the physical shop, if there is one.
- You won´t be able to personalize your geographic preferences such as time zone, currency or language.
- The web-site won´t be able to carry out Web analytics on their visitors and web traffic, which will make it difficult for the page to be competitive.
- You won´t be able to participate in a blog, upload photos or comments; or value or rate contents. The web won´t know if you are human or an automated application which advertises spam.
- Classified ads won´t appear which will reduce the site´s advertising revenues.
Can you eliminate cookies?
Yes. Not only eliminate but you can also block them, either generally or for one specific domain.
To eliminate cookies from a web-site go to your browser´s settings and from there you can find the cookies specific to the domain in question and proceed to eliminate them.
Cookie settings for popular browsers:
We will now show you how to access a specific cookie from the Chrome browser. Note: These steps may vary depending the version on your browser:
- Go to Set Up or Preferences via the File menu or by clicking on the customization icon which appears at the top right side of the page.
- Amongst the different options, click on Show advanced settings.
- Go to Privacy, Content settings.
- Choose All cookies and site data.
- A list of cookies will appear, arranged by domain. To find a particular domain´s cookies faster, type the specific domain into the find cookies
- After filtering out the domains you´ll have one or several lines with the requested web´s cookies. From here you just have to select it and press X to eliminate it.
To access Internet Explorer´s cookie settings follow these steps (may vary depending on the version of your browser):
- Go to Internet Options.
- Click on Privacy.
- Use the slider to adjust the preferred privacy level.
To access Firefox´s cookie settings follow these steps (may vary depending on the version of your Browser):
- Go to Options or Preferences, depending on your operating system.
- Click on Privacy.
- In History choose Use personalized settings for browser history.
- You´ll see the Accept cookies option, which you can activate or deactivate according to your preferences.
To access Safari for OSX´s cookie settings follow these steps (may vary depending on the version of your Browser):
- Go to Preferences and then Privacy.
- There you will see the Block cookies option where you can adjust the type of privacy you want.
To access Safari for iOS´s cookie settings follow these steps (may vary depending on the version of your Browser):
- Go to Settings, then to Safari.
- Go to Privacy and Security, you´ll see the Block cookies option to adjust the different options for blocking the cookies.
To access cookie settings from the browser of an Android device follow these steps (may vary depending on the version of your Browser):
- Run the browser and click on Menu then Settings.
- Go to Security and Privacy, you’ll see the Accept cookies option which you can activate or deactivate according to your preferences.
To access cookie settings from the browser of a Windows Phone device follow these steps (May vary depending on the version of your Browser):
- Open Internet Explorer, then More, then Settings.
- You can know activate or deactivate cookies clicking on Allow cookies.