What is a cookie?
A cookie is a small-sized file, containing letters and numbers, that is stored on the computer, mobile device or other type of equipment belonging to the user who accesses the internet. The cookie is installed through a request issued by a webserver to a browser (i.e. Internet Explorer, Chrome) and is completely “passive” (does not contain software, viruses or spyware and cannot access information from the user’s hard drive).
1. What are cookies used for?
These files make it possible to recognize the user’s device and display the content in a relevant way, fitted to the user’s preferences. Cookies ensure a pleasant browsing experience for users and support Prefera Foods’s efforts to offer convenient services to its users: i.e. –preferences in terms of online confidentiality. They are also used to draft anonymous aggregated statistics that help us understand how a user benefits from our webpages, allowing us to improve their structure and content, excluding the personal identification of the user.
2. What kind of 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 device until the end of the session or the application is closed (web browser). The fixed files stay on the user’s device for a period set by the cookie’s parameters or until they are manually erased by the user.
A visit on this website may place cookies for the following purposes:
► Cookies that improve the performance of the website
► Cookies that analyze visitors
► Cookies for geo-targeting
► Cookies for registration
► Cookies for advertising
► Cookies placed by advertising providers
4. Do cookies contain personal data?
A cookie in itself does not require personal information in order to be used and, in most cases, is unable to personally identify internet users. The personal data collected by using cookies may only be collected to facilitate certain functionalities for the user. Such data are encrypted in a way that makes unauthorized access of individuals to them impossible.
5. Deleting cookies
Generally, an application used to access webpages allows cookies to be saved on the device by default. These settings may be changed so that the automatic management of the cookies is blocked by the web browser or the usersare informed whenever cookies are sent to their device. Please find detailed information about how to manage cookies in the application’s setting section (web browser). Limiting the use of the cookies may impact certain features of the webpage.
6. Why are cookies important for the internet?
Cookies are the focal point for the efficient functioning of the internet, helping to generate a user-friendly browsing experiences adapted to the preferences and interests of each user. Denying or deactivating cookies may make certain websites impossible to use.
Denying or deactivating cookies does not necessarily mean that you will no longer receive online advertising –only that the advertising will no longer take into account your preferences and interests, as revealed by your browsing behavior.
Examples of important cookie uses (that do not require the authentication of a user through an account):
o Content and services adapted to the user’s preferences – product and services categories.
o Offers adapted to the interests of the users – remembering passwords.
o Remembering the protection filters for children for online content (family mode options, safe search features).
o Limiting the frequency of ad display – limiting the number of an ad being posted for a certain user on a website.
o Providing more user-relevant advertising.
o Measurements, optimization and analytics characteristics – such as to confirm a certain traffic level on the website, the type of content viewed and the way a user arrives on the website (i.e. through search engines, directly, from other websites etc.). The websitesanalyze how they are used to make improvements to the benefit of users.
7. Security and privacy related issues
Cookies are NOT viruses! They use plain text formats. They are not comprised of pieces of code, so they cannot be executed, nor can they execute themselves. Therefore, cookies cannot multiply or replicate on other networks to execute or replicate again. Because they cannot perform such operations, they cannot be deemed viruses.
Cookies may, however, be used for negative purposes. Because they store information about the preferences and the browsing history of users, on one or more website, cookies may be used as a form of Spyware. Many antispyware products are aware of this fact and constantly mark cookies for deletion during antivirus/anti-spyware deletion/scanning procedures.
Generally, browsers have privacy settings which provide various levels of accepting cookies, validity periods and the automatic erasure once a user has visited a certain website.
Other aspects related to the security of cookies:
Because the protection of your identity is very important and is the right of each internet user, you should be aware of the potential problems that may be caused by cookies. Because information between the browser and the website is constantly sent through cookies, if a hacker or unauthorized person interferes in the data transmission process, the information contained by cookies may be intercepted.
Although less likely, this can happen if the browser is connected to the server using a network that is not encrypted (i.e. unsecure Wi-Fi network).
Other cookie-based attacks entail wrong cookie settings on servers. If a website does not request the browser to only use encrypted channels, hackers may use this vulnerability to trick browsers into sending information through unsecure channels. Hackers then use the information to gain unauthorized access to certain websites. Please remember to be cautious when choosing the right method of protection for your personal information
8. Recommendations for safe and responsible browsing, based on cookies.
Please find below several recommendations to make sure that you are carefree when browsing, while also using cookies:
o Customize your browser settings concerning cookies to reflect a comfortable security level for you when using cookies.
o If you are not worried about cookies and you are the only person using the computer, you may set longer expiration periods for your browsing history and storage of personal access data.
o If you share access to a computer, you may consider setting the browser so that it deletes individual browsing data whenever you close it. This is an option to access those websites which place cookies and to delete any visiting information when closing the browsing session.
o Install and constantly update antispyware apps.
Many of the applications which detect and prevent spyware include the detection of attacks on websites. Thus, they prevent the browser from accessing website that may exploit the vulnerabilities of the browser or download harmful software.
Make sure your browser is always up to date.
Many of the attacks based on cookies are done by exploiting the soft spots of older browser versions.
Cookies are everywhere and cannot be avoided if you wish to enjoy access on the best and most popular online websites – local or international. If you have a clear understanding on how they operate and what benefits they bring, you may take all necessary security measures to ensure a reliable online navigation.
Deactivating and refusing to receive cookies may make certain websites impossible or difficult to visit and use. Refusal to accept cookies does not necessarily mean you will not receive/view online advertising.
You can set the browser to make sure that such cookies are not accepted in the future or to accept cookies from a particular website. However, for example, if you are not registered as using cookies, you will not be able to leave comments.
All modern browsers provide you with the possibility to change cookie settings. These settings are usually found in the “Options” or “Preferences” menu of your browser.
To better understand these settings, you may find the links below as useful, or you may use the “Help” feature of the browser for additional details.
For third-party generated cookie settings, please reviewthe following website: http://www.youronlinechoices.com/ro/
9. Useful links
10. Relevant legislation
For additional information, pleasesee the following documents and sources of public information:
General Data Protection Regulation no. 679/2016 (“GDPR”)
Opinion no. 4/2012 on cookie consent exemption, issued by Article 29 Working Party