Please read the following information carefully:
What is a cookie?
A cookie is a small file made up of letters and numbers that will be stored on a user's computer, mobile terminal or other equipment from which the internet is accessed. The cookie is installed by a request issued by a web-server to a browser (e.g. Chrome, Safari, Firefox) and is completely "passive" (contains no software, viruses or spyware and cannot access information on the user's hard drive).
"Cookies play an important role in facilitating access to and delivery of the many services the user enjoys on the Internet, such as:
Personalising certain settings such as:
Cookies provide website owners with feedback on how their sites are being used by users, so they can make them even more effective and accessible to users;
Allow multimedia or other applications from other sites to be included on a particular site to create a more valuable, useful and enjoyable browsing experience;
Improve the effectiveness of online advertising.
What are the benefits of cookies?
A cookie contains information that links a web-browser (user) to a specific web-server (website). If a browser accesses that web-server again, it can read the information already stored and react accordingly. Cookies provide users with a pleasant browsing experience and support the efforts of many websites to offer convenient services to users: e.g. online privacy preferences, site language options, shopping carts or relevant advertising.
What is the lifetime of a cookie?
Cookies are managed by web servers. The lifetime of a cookie can vary significantly, depending on the purpose for which it is placed. Some cookies are used exclusively for a single session (session cookies) and are no longer retained once the user has left the website, while other cookies are retained and reused each time the user returns to that website ('persistent cookies'). However, cookies can be deleted by a user at any time via the browser settings.
What are third party cookies?
Certain sections of content on some websites may be provided through third party / providers (e.g. a news-box, a video or an advertisement). These third parties may place cookies through another website and they are called "third party cookies" because they are not placed by the owner of that website. Third party providers must also comply with applicable law and the privacy policies of the website owner.
These cookies may come from the following third parties: facebook.com, twitter.com, etc.
How cookies are used by the website
A visit to the website may place cookies for the following purposes:
Other third party cookies
On some pages, third parties may set their own anonymous cookies in order to track the success of an application or to customize an application. Due to the way they are used, the website cannot access these cookies, just as third parties cannot access cookies held by that website. For example, when the user shares an article using the social network button on a website, that social network will record the activity of the user, not the website on which the button is located.
What kind of information is stored and accessed through cookies?
Cookies store information in a small text file that allows a website to recognise a browser. The web-server will recognise the browser until the cookie expires or is deleted. The cookie stores important information that improves your web browsing experience, for example:
Why are cookies important for the Internet?
Cookies are central to the efficient functioning of the Internet, helping to generate a user-friendly browsing experience tailored to each user's preferences and interests.Refusing or disabling cookies may make some websites unusable. Refusing or disabling cookies does not mean that the user will no longer receive online advertising - it just means that it will no longer be able to take into account the user's preferences and interests, as evidenced by browsing behaviour.
Examples of important uses of cookies (which do not require a user to log in via an account):
content and services tailored to user preferences - news categories, weather, sports, maps, public and government services, entertainment websites and travel services;
offers tailored to users' interests - password retention, language preferences (e.g.: display of search results in English)
retention of child protection filters for Internet content (family mode options, safe search functions);
measurement, optimization and analytics features - such as: confirming a certain level of traffic to a website, what type of content is being viewed and how a user gets to a website (e.g. via search engines, directly, from other websites, etc.). Website owners perform these analyses to improve their websites for the benefit of users.
Security and privacy issues
Cookies are NOT viruses! They use plain text formats. They are not made up of pieces of code, so they cannot be executed, nor can they run automatically. Consequently, they cannot be duplicated or replicated on other networks to run or replicate again. Since they cannot perform these functions, they cannot be considered viruses. Cookies can, however, be used for negative purposes. Because they store information about users' preferences and browsing history, both on a particular website and on other websites, cookies can be used as a form of Spyware. Many anti-spyware products are aware of this fact and consistently flag cookies for deletion as part of anti-virus/anti-spyware deletion/scanning procedures. In general, browsers have built-in privacy settings that provide different levels of cookie acceptance, validity period and automatic deletion after the user has visited a particular site.
Other security issues related to cookies
As identity protection is very valuable and is the right of every Internet user, it is advisable to know what possible problems cookies can create.
Tips for safe web browsing based on cookies
Customise your browser settings regarding Cookies.
If you are the only user of your terminal, you can set extended Cookie expiry times.
If you are not the only user of the terminal, consider deleting your individual browsing data each time you close the browser.
Install antispyware applications and update them constantly.
Make sure that the browser you use is always up to date, as many cookie-based attacks are possible due to weaknesses in older browser versions.
All browsers offer you the possibility to set your own custom Cookie action. To understand these settings, click on one of the links below, depending on the browser you are using:
Cookies settings in Internet Explorer
Cookies settings in Firefox
Cookies settings in Google Chrome
Cookie settings in Safari
What do you do if you do not want cookies to be installed on your computer?
Some people find the storage of information extracted from their computer or mobile device relatively invasive, especially when the information in question is stored and used by third parties unknown to them. If you prefer, you have the possibility to block all cookies or only some of them or even to remove cookies that have been installed on your terminal. Be aware, however, that you may not be able to use certain functions. To enable this blocking, you need to change the privacy settings of your browser. Some third-party operators have developed tools whose modules allow you to disable the collection and use of data.
Disabling and refusing to receive cookies may make certain sites impractical or difficult to visit and use. Also, refusing to accept cookies does not mean that the user will no longer receive/view online advertising. It is possible to adjust your browser to stop accepting cookies, or you can adjust your browser to accept cookies from a particular website. But, for example, if a user is not registered using cookies, they will not be able to leave comments. All modern browsers offer the possibility to change cookie settings. These settings are usually found in the "Options", "Settings" or "Preferences" menus (buttons) of the browser.