When we browse the Internet we usually come across pop-up notices that indicate the use and storage of cookies in our browserHowever, on numerous occasions, we ignore this type of message without giving importance to the information that is given to us or the type of cookies that we are accepting.

To avoid encountering serious security and privacy problems, it is important to know what we are accepting. To do this, first of all it is necessary to know what are cookies?

A cookie is a file created by a website where small amounts of data are included. This data is sent between a sender, in this case the server where the website is hosted, and a receiver, that is, the browser you use to visit any website.

What is its purpose?

Cookies identify the user by storing their browsing history on the web. That way, it takes that information to show you the content that most closely matches your tastes. Thus, every time a web page is visited for the first time, a cookie with information is saved in the browser. Later, when the same page is visited again, the server asks for the same cookie to personalize the user’s visit.

They also serve, in the case of e-commerce applications, to save the items that are included in the shopping cart.

What kind of cookies exist?

First, we find session cookies . They are the most used and have a very short lifespan since they are deleted when the browser is closed.

Secondly, there are the persistent cookies , those that are used to track the user by keeping information related to their behavior on the web for a certain time.

On the other hand, there are secure cookies , which store encrypted information to prevent the data they store from being vulnerable to a malicious attack.

And lastly, the zombie cookies . This type of cookie recreates itself after being deleted. They are stored on the device and not in the browser, a feature that can make them a threat to the user’s privacy and security and used for illegitimate purposes.

Depending on the entity that manages these cookies, they can also be classified as own or third- party cookies . While, depending on their purpose, we will talk about technical , analysis or measurement , personalization or preferences , advertising or behavioral advertising cookies . 

New Regulation

The Spanish Agency for Data Protection published in 2020 a new cookie regulation of important knowledge, especially for web developers and designers.

The legal obligations imposed by the regulations are two: inform the user and obtain their consent. In this way, the novelties for a few months are:

Users must be provided with clear information on the use of data storage devices, as well as the purposes of the processing of said data.

The user’s consent must be obtained for the installation and use of cookies. To obtain said consent, different methods can be used, such as, for example, clicking on a section that indicates “I accept” or other synonyms.

Tips for a good use of cookies

To make good use of cookies it is important to follow some recommendations such as:

  1. Delete cookies by cleaning the browsing history at the end of the session.
  2. Access the privacy settings of your browser and modify the information that cookies track.
  3. Avoid entering personal data in places where cookies can store them.
  4. Do not leave any account or session open.
  5. Always install a good security solution to control privacy.

Cookies are part of our daily life and it is important to know how they work so as not to have privacy problems.