WHAT IS A COOKIE ?
A cookie is a small text file, usually made up of identifiers, website names, letters and numbers, to which the user, when browsing the web page through a web browser ( example: Internet Explorer, Chrome, Opera, etc. ), may or may not allow installation by storage on the computer, mobile terminal, or other equipment used by the computer. The cookie is “passive” ( does not contain programs, viruses, or spyware and cannot access information on the user’s hard drive ).
WHAT ARE COOKIES USED FOR ?
These files make it possible to recognize the user’s terminal and present to him a content adapted to his preferences. Cookies provide the user with a pleasant browsing experience and support our efforts to provide user friendly content, such as online privacy preferences or relevant advertising. Cookies are used in the preparation of aggregate anonymous statistics that help us understand how a user benefits from the pages of the website, allowing the improvement of their structure and content.
WHAT COOKIES DO WE USE ?
We use two types of cookies:
- Session – temporary files that remain in the user’s terminal until the closing of the browsing session or the closing of the application ( web browser ),
- Persistent – files that remain in the user’s terminal for a defined period by the parameters of that cookie, or until they are manually deleted by the user.
HOW ARE COOKIES USED BY THIS WEBSITE ?
Cookies which, from a technical point of view, are not obligatory to be stored on the user’s terminal, will be used only if the user expresses his consent. The user can withdraw his consent at any time by changing the settings related to the browser used. A visit to our website may place the following types of cookies, depending on the consent expressed by the user:
DO COOKIES CONTAIN PERSONAL DATA ?
In most cases, cookies do not directly identify internet users, but the terminal from which they accessed certain web pages. This data is encrypted in a way that prevents unauthorized access by third parties.
RETENTION AND DELETION OF COOKIES
In general, an application used to access web pages allows you to save cookies on the user’s terminal by default. These settings can be changed by the user so that the automatic administration of cookies is blocked by the web browser or the user is informed every time the cookies are sent to his terminal.
SECURITY AND PRIVACY ISSUES
Cookies are NOT viruses ! They use text formats. They are not made up of pieces of code so they cannot be executed or run on their own. As a result, they cannot be duplicated or replicated on other networks in order to run or replicate. Because they cannot perform these functions, they cannot be considered viruses.
However, cookies may be used for negative purposes. Because they store information about users’ preferences and browsing history, both on a particular website and on several other websites, cookies can be used as a form of Spyware. Many anti spyware products are aware of this and constantly mark cookies to be deleted during anti-virus / anti-spyware removal / scanning procedures.
In general, browsers have integrated privacy settings that provide different levels of acceptance of cookies, validity period and automatic deletion after the user has visited a certain website.
OTHER SECURITY ISSUES RELATED TO COOKIES
Because identity protection is very valuable and represents the right of every internet user, it is advisable to know what possible problems cookies can create. Because through them information is constantly transmitted in both directions between the browser and the website, if an attacker or unauthorized person intervenes during the transmission of data, the information contained in cookies may be intercepted.
Although this is happening very rare, if the browser connects to the server using an unencrypted network ( example: an unsecured WiFi network ).
Other cookie based attacks involve incorrect cookie settings on servers. If a website does not require the browser to use only encrypted channels, attackers can use this vulnerability to trick browsers into sending information through unsecured channels. Attackers then use the information to gain unauthorized access to certain websites. It is very important to be careful in choosing the most appropriate method of personal information protection.
TIPS FOR A SAFE AND RESPONSABLE NAVIGATION
Here are some tips that can help you navigate without worries but with the help of cookies:
- If you don’t mind cookies and you are the only person using the computer, you can set long expiration dates for storing your browsing history and personal access data.
- If you share access to your computer, you may want to consider setting your browser to clear individual browsing data each time you close your browser. This is an option to access websites that place cookies and to delete any visit information at the end of the browsing session.
- Install and constantly update antivirus / antispyware applications.
- Many of the spyware detection and prevention applications include detecting attacks on websites. This prevents the browser from accessing websites that could exploit browser vulnerabilities or download malicious software.
- Make sure your browser is always up to date.
Cookies are everywhere and cannot be avoided if you want to enjoy access to the best and largest websites on the local or international internet. With a clear understanding of how they operate and the benefits they bring, you can take the necessary security measures so that you can surf the Internet with confidence.
Disabling and refusing to receive cookies may make certain websites impractical or difficult to visit and use. Also, refusing to accept cookies does not mean that you will no longer receive / view online advertising.
It is possible to set in the browser so that these cookies are no longer accepted or you can set the browser to accept cookies from a specific website. But, for example, if you are not registered using cookies, you will not be able to leave comments.
All modern browsers offer the ability to change cookie settings. These settings are usually found in the “options” or “preferences” menu of your browser.
To understand these settings, the following links may be useful, otherwise you can use the browser’s “help” option for more details.
- Cookie settings in Chrome
- Cookie settings in Firefox
- Cookie settings in Safari
- Cookie settings in Opera
- Cookie settings in Microsoft Edge
For the cookies settings generated by third parties, you can also consult the website: