What is a cookie?
A cookie is a small text file that is stored by the computer when a website is visited by a user. The text stores information that the site is able to read in the moment in which it is seen at a later time. Some of these cookies are necessary to the site to work properly, while others are useful to the visitor because they can safely store such as user name or language settings. The advantage of having the cookies installed in your pc is that you no longer need to fill out the same information every time you want to access a site you visited before.
First-party cookies are generated by the manager of the site the user is browsing. This category include technical and performance cookies. Technical cookies are used for the transmission of session identifiers (consisting of random numbers generated by the server), which allow a safe and efficient navigation of the website; Performance cookies are used for statistical purposes, for the detection of unique users, viewed or downloaded content etc. Google Analytics, for example, works using this type of cookies. Data are stored anonymously and used as an aggregate.
To disable Google Analytics cookies, you can use a special tool made available by Google itself. To install, click here.
Third-party cookies, such as that are generated by the “Like” button in Facebook, are generated and used by a different party from the manager of the site on which the user is browsing, based on agreements between the website owner and a third party. Some advertisers use these cookies to track your visits on sites where they offer their services.
How can I disable cookies?
You can easily modify browser settings to turn off cookies. Warning: when you disable cookies your username and password will be no longer stored on the login box of the site.
- Open Firefox
- Press the “Alt” key.
- In the toolbar at the top of the browser, select “Tools” and then “Options.”
- Then select the “Privacy” tab.
- Go to “Cronology Settings” and then click “Custom Settings”. Uncheck “Accept cookies from sites” and save your preferences.
- Open Internet Explorer.
- Click on “Tools” then “Internet Options.”
- Select the “Privacy” tab and choose the privacy level you want (move the slider up to block all cookies, or down to allow them all).
- Then click OK.
- Open Google Chrome.
- Click on “Tools.”
- Select “Settings” and then “Advanced Settings”.
- Select “Content settings” under “Privacy”.
- In “Cookies and Site Data” you can search and delete specific cookies.
- Type chrome://settings/cookies in the address bar and press Enter key.
- You will access to “Cookie and Site Data” where you can search and delete specific cookies.
- Open Safari.
- Select “Preferences” in the toolbar, and then select the panel “Security” in the following dialog box.
- In the “Accept Cookies” section you can specify if and when Safari should save cookies from websites. For more information click on the Help button (marked with a question mark).
- For more information on cookies that are stored on your computer, click on “Show Cookies.”