What’s a cookie?

A cookie is a small harmless piece of data that a website asks your browser to store on your computer or mobile device. The cookie allows the website to “remember” your actions or preferences over time. The purpose of a cookie is that the website be able to recognize you as a returning visitor to the website. Even though some people don’t know, cookies have been in use for more than 20 years, when the first World Wide Web browsers appeared.

What’s NOT a cookie?

Its not a virus, or a trojan, or a worm, or spam, or spyware, or pop-up opening software.

What information does a cookie store?

Cookies don’t usually store sensitive information about you, like credit card or banking information, pictures, identification data, etc. The information stored is of technical nature, personal preferences, content customization, etc. The web server doesn’t relate you as a person to the cookie, but the web browser. In fact, if you usually browse the web using Internet Explorer, and try browsing the same website with Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome, you’ll notice that the website won’t recognize you as the same person, and it’ll behave differently because the browsers are different.

What types of cookies are there?

  • Technical cookies: these are the most basic and allow, among other things, to know when the browsing is being made by a person or an automated software, when the browsing is being made by a registered or anonymous user, etc. Basic functionality for the normal operation of a dynamic website.
  • Analysis cookies: They track information about how the browsing is being made: the sections used the most, products looked up, browsing times, language, etc.
  • Advertising cookies: They show the user commercial information based on your browsing, country of origin, language, etc.

What are own and third party cookies?

Own cookies are generated by the website you’re browsing and third-party ones are generated or provided externally by the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc.

What happens if I disable cookies?

We’ll show you using some examples:

  • You won’t be able to sher contents of this website on Facebook, Twitter or any other social network.
  • The website won’t be able to adapt to your preferences, as it usually happens in online shops.
  • You won’t be able to access some areas of a website, like My account, My profile or My orders.
  • You won’t be able to buy in any online shop.
  • You won’t be able to set up personal preferences for currency, language or time zone.
  • The website won’t be able to analyze traffic and visitors, losing competitivity.
  • You won’t be able to write a blog, upload pictures, publish comments or rate contents. The website won’t know if you’re a human being or a spam robot either.
  • The website won’t be able to show you segmented advertising, which will reduce its advertising revenue.
  • All social networks use cookies. If you disable cookies, you won’t be able to use them.

Can cookies be deleted?

Yes. You can delete or block them globally or on a single website. To delete cookies, you must get into your web browser’s settings and look for them there.

Cookies settings for the most usual web browsers

Google Chrome (can vary depending on the web browser version):

  1. Go to Preferences using the File menu or the upper-right personalization icon.
  2. Click on Show Advanced Options.
  3. Go to Privacy, Content Settings.
  4. Select All cookies and privacy data.
  5. You’ll get a list of every cookie ordered by domain. You can also use the search field.
  6. Select and press X to erase the ones you wish to delete.

Internet Explorer (can vary depending on the web browser version):

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

Mozilla Firefox (can vary depending on the web browser version):

  1. Go to Options or Preferences (depending on your Operating System).
  2. Click Privacy.
  3. In History, select Use personalized settings.
  4. You’ll now see the option Accept cookies. You can enable or disable it based on your preferences.

Safari for OS X (can vary depending on the web browser version):

  1. Go to Preferences > Privacy.
  2. You’ll see a Block Cookies setting.

Safari for iOS (can vary depending on the web browser version):

  1. Go to Settings > Safari.
  2. Go to Privacy and Security. You’ll see a Block Cookies option.

Android (can vary depending on the web browser version):

  1. Open up the browser. Click on Menu, then Settings.
  2. Go to Security and Privacy, you’ll see an Accept Cookies option.

Windows Phone

  1. Open Internet Explorer, then More, and Settings.
  2. You can enable or disable the Allow Cookies option.