More information on cookies
Cookies are harmless text files that are stored in your browser when you visit virtually any website. The purpose of the cookie is for a website to be able to remember your visit when you visit that site again. Though most people are unaware of it, cookies have been in use for 20 years now, when the first World Wide Web browsers popped up.
What ISN’T a cookie?
It’s not a virus, trojan, worm, spam, nor spywayre nor does it open any pop-up windows.
What information does a cookie store?
Cookies don’t generally store your private information, such as credit card or banking information, pictures, ID numbers or personal information. Data stored is usually mostly technical, personal preferences, content customization, etc.
The web server doesn’t associate this to you, but to your browser instead. In fact, if you normally surf the web with Internet Explorer and then visit the same websites using Firefox or Chrome you will see the website doesn’t realise you’re the same person, because it’s actually linked to the browser, not the person.
What types of cookies are there?
- Technical Cookies: Are the most basic ones and make it possible, among other things, to know when a person is surfing the web as opposed to an automatic app, whether a user is anonymous or registered, basic functions for any dynamic websites.
- Analysis Cookies: Gather information on the type of browsing that is being done, most visited sections, browsed products, usage time zone, language, etc.
- Advertising Cookies: Show ads based on your browsing history, country, language, etc.
What are first and third party cookies?
First-party cookies are those generated by the website that 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?
So that you may understand the effect that disabling cookies might have, we’ll show you a few examples:
- You will not be able to share that site’s contents on Facebook, Twitter or any other social network.
- The website will not be able to adapt its contents to your personal preferences, as is the case with virtual stores.
- You will not have access to that site’s personal area, such as My account, My profile or My cart.
- Online stores: You will not be able to make online purchases. They will have to be over the phone or by visiting the actual store, should there be one.
- You will not be able to set geographic preferences such as time zone, currency or language.
- The web site will not be able to perform web analysis on visitors and web traffic, which will make it hard for the site to stay competitive.
- You will not be able to write on the blog, upload pictures, post comments, like or rate content. The site will also be unable to tell whether you are a person or an automatic application out to post spam.
- Targeted advertising will not be possible, which will reduce the site’s ad income.
Can cookies be cleared?
Yes. Not just cleared, but also blocked, altogether or for a specific web domain.
To clear a site’s cookies, head to your browser’s settings where you will be able to search for any cookies linked to the domain of your choosing and then clear them.
Cookies settings for the most popular browsers
Up next, we will instruct you on how to access a particular set of cookies on a Chrome browser. Note: these steps may vary depending on the browser’s version:
- Go to Settings or Preferences through the File menu or by clicking on the icon on the upper right hand corner.
- You will see several options, click on Advanced Settings.
- Go to Privacy, Content settings.
- Select All cookies and site data.
- You will see a list of all cookies in order of domain. In order to make your search easier type in the site’s adress partially or totally on the Search cookies box.
- By applying this filter, you will see one or several lines with the cookies of the site you requested. Now you must simply select them and click on the X to clear them.
To access cookies settings on Internet Explorer browser follow these steps (they may vary based on browser version):
- Go to Tools, Internet Options
- Click on Privacy.
- Adjust the slider to your preferred privacy level.
To access cookie settings from a Firefox browser, follow these steps (they may vary based on browser version):
- Go to Options or Preferences depending on your operating systems.
- Click on Privacy.
- In History choose Use custom history settings
- You will now see the option Accept cookies, you may enable or disable it as you see fit.
To access cookie settings on a Safari OSX browser follow these steps (they may vary based on browser version):
- Go to Preferences, then Privacy.
- Here you will see the option Block cookies to select the type of block you desire.
To access cookie settings on a Safari iOS browser follow these steps (they may vary based on browser version):
- Go to Settings, then Safari.
- Go to Privacy and Security, you will see the Block cookies to select the type of block you desire.
To access cookie settings on Android device browsers follow these steps (they may vary based on browser version):
- Start up the browser and press the Menu key, then Settings.
- Go to Security and Privacy, and you will see the option Enable cookies to check or uncheck the box.
To access cookie settings on Windows Phone devices follow these steps (they may vary based on browser version):
- Open Internet Explorer, then More, then Settings
- You may now check or uncheck the box Allow cookies