A cookie is a small text file that is stored on your browser when you visit almost any website. They are employed so that websites can remember your visit when you return to browse on this website again. Cookies tend to store technical information, personal preferences, personalisation of contents, usage statistics, links to social networks, access to user’s accounts, etc. The purpose of cookies is to adapt the website contents to your profile and needs, as without cookies the services offered by any website would be notably lessened.
What information does a cookie store?
Cookies do not tend to store sensitive information on you, such as credit card numbers or bank data, photographs, your ID number or personal information, etc. The data stored are technical, as well as personal preferences, content personalisation, etc.
The web server does not associate you as a person, but instead your web browser. Indeed, if you regularly browse with Internet Explorer and try to browse on the same website using Firefox or Chrome, you will see that the website does not realise that you are the same person, because as mentioned it is associating the browser and not the person.
What types of cookies are there?
- Technical cookies: They are the most basic and permit, among other things, know when a human or an automated application is browsing, when an anonymous or registered user is browsing, basic tasks for the operation of any dynamic website.
- Analysis cookies: They collect information on the type of browsing being done, the sections that are most used, products viewed, usage timelines, language, etc.
- Advertising cookies: They display advertising in accordance with your browsing, country of origin, language, etc
What are own and third party cookies?
Own cookies are those generated by the website that you are visiting and third party are those generated by external services or providers like Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc.
Can cookies be deleted?
Yes. And they not only can be eliminated, but also blocked, in general or particular for a specific domain.
To delete cookies from a website, go to settings on your browser and search for those associated with the domain in question and delete them.
Settings for cookies in the most popular browsers
Below we tell you how to access a specific cookie in the Chrome browser. Note: these steps may vary depending on your browser version.
- Go to Settings or Preferences in the File menu, or by clicking on the personalisation icon at the top right.
- You will see different sections. Click on the Show advanced settings
- Go to Privacy, Content settings.
- Select All cookies and site data.
- A list will be displayed with all cookies, sorted by domains. To make it easier to find the cookies for a specific domain, partially or totally enter the address in the field Search cookies.
- After using this filter, one or more lines will be displayed on the screen with the cookies for the requested website. Now you just have to select it and click on X to delete it.
To access the cookies setting for the Internet Explorer browser, follow these steps (which may vary depending on your browser version):
- Go to Tools, Internet Options.
- Click on Privacy.
- Move the slider to adjust it to the privacy level that you want.
To access the cookies setting for the Firefox browser, follow these steps (which may vary depending on your browser version):
- Go to Options or Preferences, depending on your operating system.
- Click on Privacy.
- In History, select Use a personalised setting for history.
- Now you will see the Accept cookies option, and you can activate or deactivate it depending on your preference.
To access the cookies setting for the Safari for OSX browser, follow these steps (which may vary depending on your browser version):
- Go to Preferences, and then Privacy.
- Now you will see the Block cookies option so that you can set the type of blocking you would like.
To access the cookies setting for the Safari for iOS browser, follow these steps (which may vary depending on your browser version):
- Go to Settings, then Safari.
- Now select Privacy and Security, and you will see the Block cookies option so that you can set the type of blocking you would like.
To access the cookies setting in the browser for Android devices, follow these steps (which may vary depending on your browser version):
- Open the browser and click on the Menu key, then Settings.
- Go to Security and Privacy, and you will see the Accept cookies option, so that you can tick or untick the box.
To access the cookies setting in the browser for Windows Phone devices, follow these steps (which may vary depending on your browser version):
- Open Internet Explorer, then More, then
- No you can activate or deactivate the Allow cookies