What are cookies?

Today we are talking about cookies! And no these are not for eating!

Today we talk about the cookies that are out there in the digital world and that we accept without even thinking twice. It is frequent to find on certain pages messages like this “This site uses cookies. By continuing navigation, you agree to our policy” or “The cookie settings on this site are set so that we can give you the best experience while you are here”. But what are these so-called cookies anyway? They are nothing more and nothing less than small software tags that are stored on your computer through your browser, retaining only the information you select with your preferences, leaving out your data.

These tags store information that helps identify each Internet user, such as IP address, search terms, content viewed, and settings saved, among others. Many believe that this tags are a virus or other types of malicious file because they act as a spy program. But in fact, one of the main purposes of this tags is to collect information for advertising purposes. As this type of storage allows the verification of users’ habits and preferences, it also enables the targeting of ads more suitable to the profile of each one of them.

What are cookies used for?

  • Save the settings made when visiting a given site, such as preferred language, city of origin, operating system and browser used;
  • Record visitor behaviour, recording how much time each person spends on the page, the most viewed content and the files downloaded;
  • Store sensitive information, such as login data, so that the user does not have to enter this data every time he or she needs to access his or her e-mail, social networks or e-commerce websites;
  • Record data entered into online forms, such as addresses, phone numbers and other information.

So, what kind of cookies are there?

  • Permanent – these are stored in the browser on your devices (PC, mobile and tablet) and are used whenever you visit a website again. They are generally used to target navigation to the user’s interests, allowing a more personalized service to be provided.
  • Session – these are temporary cookies that remain in the cookie file of your browser until you leave the website. The information obtained by these cookies is used to analyze web traffic patterns.

For what purposes are they used?

  • Strictly necessary cookies – These allow you to browse the website and use its applications, as well as access secure areas of the website.
  • Analytical cookies – These are used anonymously to create and analyze statistics to improve the functioning of the website.
  • Functionality cookies – Store user preferences regarding the use of the site, so that you do not need to re-configure the site each time you visit.
  • Third-party cookies – Measure the success of third-party applications and advertising effectiveness.
  • Advertising Cookies – Target advertising based on the interests of each user, to direct advertising campaigns according to the user’s tastes. They also limit the number of times you see the ad, helping to measure the effectiveness of advertising.