Cookies are small software tags that are stored on your computer through your browser, retaining information related to your preferences but excluding your personal data.
Cookies are intended to help determine the usefulness of a website and the interests and number of times a user accesses the site, enabling faster and more efficient browsing and eliminating the need to repeatedly enter the same information.
A simple example of how cookies work in practice is when you search for a flight. If you visit the flight booking website again some time later, the data from your previous search is displayed. That information was kept by cookies.
The same happens with shopping websites. The cookies “observe” user preferences and display similar products from other websites in the form of advertisements.
How to disable cookies:
All browsers allow the user to accept, decline or delete cookies. They also inform the user whenever a cookie is received, e.g. when you select the appropriate settings in your browser. Users can set their cookie preferences in the Options or Preferences menu, depending on the browser.
However, disabling cookies may prevent some web services from functioning properly and this may affect part of or all browsing in the website.
Types of cookies:
There are two groups of cookies that can be used.
Permanent cookies – These cookies are stored at browser level on devices (PCs, mobile phones, etc.) and are used whenever a user visits a website where cookies were stored. This way, browsing is directed at the user’s interests, thus providing a personalised service.
Session cookies – These are temporary cookies that remain in the browser’s cookie file until you leave the website. The information obtained by these cookies is used to analyse Internet traffic patterns, enabling issues to be identified so as to provide a better browsing experience.
Cookies do not collect any personal data.
Analytical cookies – These cookies are used anonymously for the purpose of creating and analysing statistics to improve the functioning of the website.
Functionality cookies – These cookies store user preferences regarding website use, so that the website does not need to be reconfigured each time a user visits it.
Third-party cookies – These cookies measure an application’s success and the effectiveness of advertising. They can also be used to customise widgets with user data.
Advertising cookies – These cookies direct advertising based on a user’s interests. In addition, they limit the number of times the user sees the same advertisement, helping to measure advertising effectiveness and how successfully the website is organised.