What are cookies?
Cookies are information entered on your browser when you visit a website or use a social network with your PC, smartphone or tablet.
Each cookie contains different data such as, for example, the name of the server it comes from, a numerical identifier, etc.
Cookies may remain in the system for the duration of a session (ie until you close the browser used for web browsing) or for long periods and may contain a unique identification code.
What are cookies for?
Some cookies are used to perform computer authentication, monitoring sessions and storing specific information about users accessing a web page.
These cookies, so-called technical, are often useful, because they can make faster and faster browsing and use of the web, because they intervene to facilitate some procedures when you shop online, when you authenticate to restricted access areas or when a website automatically recognizes the language you usually use.
A particular type of cookie, called analytics, are then used by the managers of the websites to collect information, in aggregate form, on the number of users and how they visit the site, and then develop general statistics on the service and its use.
Other cookies can instead be used to monitor and profile users while browsing, to study their movements and habits of web browsing or consumption (what they buy, what they read, etc.), also for the purpose of sending advertising of targeted services and personalized (so-called Behavioral Advertising). In this case we speak about profiling cookies.
This happens because those web spaces are designed to recognize your PC or another terminal that you use to connect to the web (smartphone, tablet), and possibly direct promotional messages “profiles” based on your research and your use of the Internet.
It may also happen that a web page contains cookies from other sites and content in various elements hosted on the page itself, such as banner ads, images, videos, etc. We speak, in these cases, so-called third-party cookies, which they are usually used for profiling purposes.
So the cookies you download on your PC, smartphone and tablet can also be read by other subjects, other than those who manage the web pages you visit.
Cookies and privacy
Given the particular invasiveness that profiling cookies (especially those third parties) may have in the private sphere of users, European and Italian legislation provide that the user must be adequately informed about the use of the same and express their valid consent to the inclusion of cookies on your terminal.
1) that the site uses profiling cookies to send targeted advertising messages;
2) that the site also allows the sending of “third-party” cookies, in case of use of this type of cookie, ie cookies installed by a different site through the site you are visiting;
Block third-party cookies
Third-party cookies are generally not essential for browsing, so you can reject them by default, through special functions of your browser.
Activate the Do Not Track option
The Do Not Track option is present in most of the latest generation of browsers. Websites designed to comply with this option, when activated, should automatically stop collecting some of your browsing data. As mentioned, however, not all websites are set to respect this option (discretionary).
Activate the “anonymous surfing” mode
With this function you can browse without leaving a trace in the navigation data browser. The sites will not remember you, the pages you visit will not be stored in the history and the new cookies will be deleted.
The anonymous browsing function does not guarantee anonymity on the Internet anyway, because it is used only to not keep browsing data in the browser, while your navigation data will continue to be available to web site managers and connectivity providers.
Delete cookies directly
There are special functions to do this in all browsers. Remember, however, that every time you connect to the Internet, new cookies are downloaded, so the deletion operation should be performed periodically. If desired, some browsers offer automated systems for the periodic cancellation of cookies.
In any case, in addition to the protections provided, you also have other options to browse without cookies.