What are cookies?
Cookies are computer files or partial data that can be stored on your computer (or other devices enabled to surf the Internet, for example, smartphones or tablets) when you visit a website. Usually a cookie contains the name of the website from which the cookie comes, the “life span” of the cookie (ie how long it will stay on your device), and a value, which is usually a unique number generated randomly.
What are cookies for?
- storing entered preferences
- avoiding the need to re-enter the same information several times during the visit such as user name and password
- analyzing the use of the services and content provided by the site to optimize the browsing experience and services offered
- improving the use of the site, for example, allowing the banner of news to appear only the first time you open a page.
Some sites, or parts of them, can function only if you accept cookies. For example, in the case you refused them:
- You may not be able to access a website or a web page even though the user name and password are correct
- You may see a message on the website that indicates that cookies are needed or that your browser’s cookie functionality is turned off.
- Some functions of a website may not work as expected.
Different types of cookies
According to their functions, cookies generally may fall into two broad categories:
Technical Cookies: they are cookies that are used to make browsing easier or to provide a service requested by the user. They are not used for other purposes and normally they are installed by the owner of the website. Without the use of these cookies, some operations could not be carried out or would be more complex and/or less secure, such as home banking activities (display of the account statement, bills payments, etc.), for which such cookies, that allow user identification through the session, are indispensable.
Profiling Cookies: they are used to track users navigation on the network and create profiles on their tastes and choices. With these cookies it is possible to transmit to the user’s terminals ads or tips on navigation in line with the preferences already arisen. This category includes, for example, cookies linked to social networks like Facebook and Twitter, and ecommerce sites like Amazon.
How can I check or delete cookies?
The majority of Internet browsers are initially set to accept cookies automatically. You can change these settings to block cookies or to warn you that cookies are sent to your device. There are several ways to manage cookies:
By specific configurations of the browser or its programs used to navigate pages that make up the site.
By changing settings in the use of third-party services, such as social networks.
Both of these solutions might prevent you from using or view parts of the Website. As for third-party services, you must access the settings / preferences of use of a single service. To change the way your devices incorporate cookies is necessary to intervene in the browser settings. Here are links to pages illustrating the possible procedures for enabling / disabling the most used browsers: