Cookies

1. What are cookies? A cookie is a small file consisting of letters and numbers that will be stored on your computer, mobile terminal or other user equipment from which the Internet is accessed. The cookie is installed through the request issued by a web server to a browser (e.g. Internet Explorer, Chrome) and is completely “passive” (does not contain software, viruses or spyware and can’t access information on the user’s hard drive).

2. What are cookies used for? These files make it possible to recognize the user’s terminal and present the content in a relevant way, adapted to the user’s preferences. Cookies provide users with a pleasant browsing experience and support our efforts to provide comfortable services to users (e.g. the language in which the website is displayed).

3. What cookies do we use? We use two types of cookies: per session and fixed. The latter are temporary files that remain in the user’s terminal until the end of the session or the application (web browser) is closed. The fixed files remain on the user’s terminal for a period in the cookie parameters or until they are manually deleted by the user.

4. Do cookies contain personal data? Cookies themselves do not require personal information to be used and, in most cases, do not personally identify internet users. Personal data collected through the use of cookies can only be collected to facilitate certain functionality for the user. Such data is encrypted in a way that makes it impossible for unauthorized persons to access it.

5. Deleting cookies in general: an application used to access web pages allows by default saving cookies into the terminal. These settings can be changed in such a way that the automatic administration of cookies is blocked by the web browser or the user is informed each time cookies are sent to his/her terminal. Detailed information about the possibilities and ways of managing cookies can be found in the settings area of the application (web browser). Limiting the use of cookies may affect certain features of the website.

6. Why are cookies important for Internet? Cookies are the focus of the efficient functioning of the Internet, helping to generate a friendly browsing experience tailored to the preferences and interests of each user. Refusing or disabling cookies may make some websites impossible to use.

Refusing or disabling cookies does not mean that you will no longer receive online advertising, but only that it will no longer be able to take into account your preferences and interests, highlighted by your browsing behaviour.

Examples of important uses of cookies (which do not require authentication of a user through an account):

Content and services tailored to user preferences — categories of products and services. Offers tailored to the interests of users — remember passwords.

Retaining child protection filters on Internet content (family mode options, safe search functions).

Limiting the frequency of broadcasting ads — limiting the number of impressions of an ad for a specific user on a site.

Provide advertising more relevant to the user.

Measurement, optimization and analytics features — such as confirming a certain level of traffic on a website, what type of content is viewed and how a user gets to a website (e.g. through search engines, directly from other websites, etc.). The websites carry out these analyses of their use to improve the websites for the benefit of users.

7. 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 or do anything autonomously. Consequently, they cannot duplicate or replicate on other networks to run or to replicate again. Since they cannot perform these functions, they cannot be considered viruses.

Cookies can still 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 fact and constantly mark cookies to be deleted in anti-virus/anti-spyware deletion/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 particular website.

Other security aspects 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 interferes with the data transmission process, the information contained by cookies may be intercepted.

Although very rarely, this can happen if the browser connects to the server using an unencrypted network (for example, an unsecured Wi-Fi network).

Other cookie-based attacks involve wrong 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. The attackers then use the information for the purposes of unauthorized access to certain websites. It is very important to be careful in choosing the most suitable method of protecting personal information.

8. Tips for safe and responsible browsing, based on cookies. Due to their flexibility and the fact that practically all of the most visited websites and the largest ones use cookies, they are almost inevitable. Disabling cookies will not allow the user to access the most widespread and used websites including YouTube, Gmail, Yahoo and others.

Here are some tips that can make sure you navigate seamlessly with cookies: Customize your browser settings for cookies to reflect a comfortable level of security for your use of cookies.

If you do not mind cookies and you are the only person using your computer, you can set long expiration dates for storing your browsing history and personal access data.

If you share access to the computer, you can consider setting the browser to delete individual browsing data each time you close the browser. This is a way to access websites that place cookies and to delete any visit information at the end of the browsing session.

Install and constantly update antispyware applications.

Many of the spyware detection and prevention applications include detection of attacks on websites. This prevents the browser from accessing websites that could exploit browser vulnerabilities or download dangerous software.

Make sure your browser is always updated.

Many of the cookie-based attacks are accomplished by exploiting the weaknesses of old versions of browsers.

Cookies are everywhere and cannot be avoided if you want to enjoy access to the best and largest websites on the Internet — local or international. 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 render certain websites impractical or difficult to visit and use. Also, refusing to accept cookies does not mean that you will no longer receive/see online advertising.

It is possible to set the browser so that these cookies are no longer accepted or you can set the browser to accept cookies from a particular website. But, for example, if you are not registered using cookies, you will not be able to leave comments.

All modern browsers provide the ability to change the cookie settings. These settings are usually found in “options” or in the “preferences” menu of your browser.

To understand these settings, the following links can be useful, otherwise you can use the browser’s “help” option for more details.

Cookie settings in Internet Explorer

Cookie settings in Firefox

Cookie settings in Chrome

Cookie settings in Safari

For the settings of cookies generated by third parties, you can also consult the website: http://www.youronlinechoices.com/ro/