What are cookies in computers?
Cookies are created when a user’s browser loads a specific website. This website sends information to the browser which then creates a text file. Every time the user returns to the same website, the browser recovers the file and sends it to the website’s server. However, the website the user is browsing is not the only one that creates cookies. Other websites that run ads, tools or other elements on the page being loaded also create cookies. These cookies regulate how ads appear or how the tools and other elements function on the webpage.
Most browsers currently allow users to choose whether they wish to accept cookies and if so, which ones. These settings are usually found on the Options or Preferences tabs in the browser menu.
Why we use them
It is important to point out that cookies do not capture personal data, so users remain anonymous.
What type of cookies are used on this website?
Cookies can be divided into session cookies, or persistent or tracking cookies, depending on their permanence. Session cookies expire when the user closes the browser. Persistent or tracking cookies expire when they have served their purpose (e.g., to ensure pages are always delivered in a chosen language) or when they are manually removed.
Cookies can also be classified according to their purpose:
- Geolocation cookies: These cookies are used to determine which country you are in when you request a web site or service. They are completely anonymous and are only used to help guide content to your location.
- Registration or sign-up cookies: These cookies are generated once a user has registered or signed in and are used to identify that user in web sites and services for the following purposes:
To keep users signed in, despite closing a service or website, browser or computer. On re-entry to the service or website, users continue to be signed in, which enhances their browsing experience and does not require them to repeat the sign-in process. This feature can be suppressed if the user clicks on Sign Out. The cookie will then be eliminated and the user will need to sign in next time.
To check whether the user is authorised to access certain services, for example, access to the Registered Users Area.
In addition, some services may use third party links, such as Facebook, Twitter and Google. By registering at a service using the credential of a social media network or third party identification system, users authorise that service or system to save a persistent cookie that remembers their identity and ensures they can enter the website until that cookie expires. Users may delete this cookie and cancel access to the website through social networks or third party identification systems by updating their preferences on the social networking site in question.
- Analytical cookies: Every time a user visits a web site or service, an external provider tool (Google Analytics and others) generates an analytical cookie in the user’s device. This cookie is only generated during the visit and will be used in future visits to identify the visitor anonymously. Here are the main aims of this cookie:
To identify users anonymously through the cookie (it identifies users and devices, not people) and keep track of approximate visitor numbers and trends over time.
To identify anonymously the content that is most visited and therefore most attractive to users.
To discover whether user visits are new or repeated.
Cookies will never be associated with any personal information that may identify you.