What is a cookie?
A cookie is a harmless text file that is stored in your browser when you visit almost any website. The usefulness of a cookie is that the website is able to remember your visit when you return to navigate through the page. Although many people do not know, cookies have been used for 20 years when the first browsers for the World Wide Web appeared.
What is NOT a cookie?
It is not a virus, or a Trojan or a worm nor spam, spyware or open pop ups.
What information does a cookie store?
Cookies usually do not store sensitive information about you, such as credit cards or bank details, photographs, your ID or personal information, etc. The collected data are of a technical nature, personal preferences, personalization of contents, etc.
The web server does not associate you as a person, but your web browser. In fact, if you regularly browse with Internet Explorer and try to navigate through the same website with Firefox or Chrome you will see that the web does not realize that you are the same person because in reality it just associate the browser, not the person.
What kind of cookies exist?
- Technical cookies: Are the most basic and allow, among other things, to know when a human or an automated application is browsing, when an anonymous and registered user navigates, basic tasks for the operation of any dynamic web.
- Analysis cookies: They collect information about the type of navigation, the sections you use the most, consulted products, time slot of use, language, etc.
- Advertising cookies: Display advertising based on your navigation, your country of origin, language, etc.
What are own and third party cookies?
Own 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 the cookies?
To understand the scope that may have to disable cookies, we show here below some examples:
- You won't be able to share contents from that website on Facebook, Twitter or any other social network.
- The website will not be able to adapt the contents to your personal preferences, as is often the case in online stores.
- You won't be able to access the personal area of that website, such as My account, My profile or My orders.
- Online stores: It will be impossible to shop online. You will have to call or visit the physical store if one exists.
- It will not be possible to customize your geographic preferences as time zone, currency or language.
- The website will not be able to perform web analytics on visitors and web traffic, which will make the website to be competitive more difficult.
- You won't be able to write in a blog, upload photos, post comments, rate or value contents. The web will also not be able to know if you are a human or an automated application that publishes spam.
- It will not be possible to show sectorized advertising, which will reduce the advertising revenues of the web.
Can cookies be deleted?
Yes. Not only deleted but also blocked, in a general or particular way for a specific domain.
To delete cookies from a website you must go to the configuration of your browser and search for the cookies which are associated with the domain name in question and proceed with their elimination.
Cookie settings for the most popular browsers
Here's how to access a specific cookie from the Chrome browser. Note: these steps may vary depending on the browser version:
- Go to 'Settings' or 'Preferences' by clinking the File menu or by clicking the personalisation icon that appears on the top right.
- You will see different sections, click the option 'Display advanced options'.
- Go to 'Privacy', 'Content Settings'.
- Select 'All cookies and site data'.
- A list with all the cookies ordered by domain will appear. To make it easier to find the cookies of a specific domain, enter the address partially or completely in the field 'Search cookies'.
- After this filter, one or several lines with the cookies of the requested web appear on the screen. Now you just have to select it and press 'X' to proceed with its elimination.
To access the cookie settings of the Internet Explorer browser follow these steps (it may vary depending on the version of browser):
- Go to 'Tools', 'Internet Options'.
- Go to 'Privacy'.
- Move the slider to the level of privacy you want to set.
To access the cookie settings of the Firefox browser follow these steps (it may vary depending on the version of browser):
- Go to 'Options' or 'Preferences' depending on your operating system.
- Click on 'Privacy'.
- In 'History' choose 'Use custom settings for history'.
- Now you will see the option 'Accept cookies', you can activate or deactivate it according to your preferences.
To access the cookie settings of the Safari browser for OSX follow these steps (it may vary depending on the version of browser):
- Go to 'Preferences' then to 'Privacy'.
- Here you will see the option 'Block cookies' where you can adjust the type of block you wish to set.
To access the cookie settings of the Safari browser for iOS follow these steps (it may vary depending on the version of browser):
- Go to 'Settings' and then to 'Safari'.
- Go to 'Privacy and Security', here you will see the option 'Block cookies' where you can adjust the type of block you wish to set.
To access the cookie settings of the browser for Android devices follow these steps (it may vary depending on the version of browser):
- Run the browser and press the 'Menu' key, then 'Settings'.
- Go to 'Privacy and Security', here you will see the option 'Accept cookies' where you can activate or deactivate the checkbox.
To access the cookie settings of the browser for Windows Phone devices follow these steps (it may vary depending on the version of browser):
- Run 'Internet Explorer' then 'More' and afterwards 'Settings'.
- Now you can activate or deactivate the checkbox 'Allow cookies'.
Cookies Advisor is a WordPress plugin created by Carlos Doral (webartesanal.com)