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Cookies. What are they and what do they use?

1. What are cookies?

A cookie module, also known as an HTTP cookie, web cookie or browser cookie, is usually a small file consisting of letters and numbers, sent by a website and stored in the user's web browser when the user navigates in a website. Cookies are completely "passive" (do not contain software, viruses or spyware, and can not access the information on the user's hard drive).

2. What are cookies used for?

Cookies have been designed as a safe way for websites to retain the status of their website or past user activity. When the user browses the same site again, the information kept by the cookie may be used by the website to notify the website of the user's previous activity. Cookies can include pushing certain buttons, logging in or retention of web pages visited by users months or years ago.
Some cookies are essential for the operation of some services, others are useful for gathering information about the use of the website. Some cookies are temporary, for example, during some campaigns, and will disappear when you close your web browser, others stay on your computer for a long time.
Some cookies are required exclusively for websites to run, while others are used to improve user experience and activity.
The different types of cookies used on websites may be: strictly necessary (remember what the user has added to the shopping cart, remembering stage of the user's order), functional (retain the user's login details; conexion security when it is connected, ensures the unitary appearance of the website, provides instant messaging support), performance (improve website performance, improve user experience), alerts and targeting cookies (allow distribution and appreciation of content, transmit information to other websites to personalize ads).