What are cookies?
Cookies are files that can be downloaded to your computer through websites. They are tools that play an essential role in providing many services of the information society. Among other things, they allow a website to store and retrieve information about a user's or their device's browsing habits and, depending on the information obtained, they can be used to recognize the user and improve the service offered.
Types of cookies
Depending on the entity that manages the domain from which the cookies are sent and processes the data obtained, two types can be distinguished:
- First-party cookies: those sent to the user's terminal equipment from a computer or domain managed by the editor itself and from which the service requested by the user is provided.
- Third-party cookies: those sent to the user's terminal equipment from a computer or domain that is not managed by the editor but by another entity that processes the data obtained through the cookies. In the event that cookies are installed from a computer or domain managed by the editor itself but the information collected through them is managed by a third party, they cannot be considered as first-party cookies. There is also a second classification according to the length of time they remain stored in the client's browser, which can be:
- Session cookies: designed to collect and store data while the user accesses a web page. They are usually used to store information that is only of interest to keep for the provision of the requested service by the user on a single occasion (e.g., a list of purchased products).
- Persistent cookies: the data continues to be stored on the terminal and can be accessed and processed for a period defined by the cookie's controller, which can range from a few minutes to several years. Finally, there is also a second classification with five types of cookies according to the purpose for which the data obtained is processed:
- Technical cookies: those that allow the user to navigate through a web page, platform, or application and use the different options or services that exist in it, such as, for example, controlling traffic and data communication, identifying the session, accessing parts of restricted access, remembering the elements that make up an order, carrying out the process of buying an order, carrying out the request for registration or participation in an event, using security elements during navigation, storing content for the dissemination of videos or sound, or sharing content through social networks.
- Customization cookies: they allow the user to access the service with some general pre-defined characteristics based on a series of criteria on the user's terminal, such as the language, the type of browser through which the user accesses the service, the regional configuration from where the user accesses the service, etc.
- Analysis cookies: they allow the controller of the cookies to track and analyze the behavior of users of the websites to which they are linked. The information collected through this type of cookies is used in the measurement of the activity of the websites, applications, or platforms and in the creation of navigation profiles of the users of said sites, applications, and platforms, in order to introduce improvements based on the analysis of the usage data that users make of the service.
- Advertising cookies: they allow for the most efficient management of advertising spaces.
- Behavioral advertising cookies: they store information on user behavior obtained through continuous observation of their browsing habits, which allows for the development of a specific profile to display advertising based on it.
Disabling and deleting cookies
You have the option to allow, block, or delete the cookies installed on your computer by configuring the options of the browser installed on your computer. By disabling cookies, some of the services available may stop working. The way to disable cookies is different for each browser, but it can usually be done from the Tools or Options menu. You can also check the browser's Help menu where you can find instructions. The user can choose at any time which cookies they want to work on this website. You can allow, block, or delete cookies installed on your computer by configuring the options of the browser installed on your computer:
- Microsoft Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-vista/Block-or-allow-cookies
- Mozilla Firefox: http://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/prevent-websites-store-site-preferences
- Chrome: https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/95647?hl=en
- Safari: http://safari.helpmax.net/en/privacy-and-security/how-to-manage-cookies/