This policy relates to cookies and web pages operated by Phonetastic GSM S.R.L. (hereinafter referred to as “Phonetastic”).
1. What is a Cookie?
A Cookie is a small file consisting of letters and numbers which is stored on a computer, mobile terminal or other equipment on which a user accesses the Internet. The cookie is installed by request issued by a web server to a browser (e.g. Internet Explorer, Chrome) and is completely “passive” (does not contain software programs, viruses or spyware and cannot access the information on the user’s hard drive).
These files shall make it possible to identify the user terminal and to present the content in a relevant way tailored to the user’s preferences. Cookies provide users a pleasant browsing experience and support Phonetastic’s intention of delivering user-friendly services: e.g. – online privacy preferences. Cookies are also used in preparation of aggregated non-personal statistics which help us understand the way a user benefits from our web pages, allowing us to improve their structure and content, excluding the user’s personal identification.
3. What types of Cookies do we use?
We use two types of Cookies: per session and persistent. The former are temporary files stored on the user terminal until the end of the session or the closing of the application (web browser). Persistent Cookies are stored on user’s equipment between browsing sessions until expiry or deletion.
A visit on this website may place cookies for the following purposes:
- Website performance Cookies
- Website visitor analysis Cookies
- Geotargetting Cookies
- Registration Cookies
- Advertising Cookies
- Advertisement provider Cookies
5. Do Cookies contain Personal Data?
Cookies, per se, do not require personal information to be used and in most cases do not identify Internet users personally. Personal data collected through the usage of Cookies can only be collected to facilitate certain user functionalities. Such data is encrypted in a way that makes impossible for unauthorized persons to access it.
6. How to delete Cookies
7. Why are Internet Cookies important?
Cookies represent the central focus of the efficient operation of the Internet, helping to generate a friendly browsing experience and tailored to the preferences and interests of each user. Refusing or disabling Cookies can make certain websites totally unusable. Refusing or disabling Cookies does not mean you won’t be receiving online advertising – but only that it will no longer be able to keep track of your preferences and interests highlighted by your browsing behavior.
- Content and services tailored to the users’ preferences – product and services categories.
- Offers which are tailored to users’ interests – password retention.
- Retention of child protection filters regarding Internet content (family mode options, safe search functions).
- Limitation of advertisements delivery rate – limitation of the number of views of an advertisement for a particular user on a website.
- The provision of more relevant publicity to users.
- Measurement, optimization and analytics features – such as the confirmation of a certain level of traffic on a website, which type of content is viewed and the way a user arrives on a website (e.g. through search-engines, directly, from other websites).
8. Security and privacy issues
Cookies are NOT viruses! They use plain text formats. They do not consist of pieces of code so they cannot be performed nor can auto-run. Therefore, they cannot be duplicated or replicated on other networks to run or replicate again. Because they cannot perform these functions, they cannot be considered viruses.
Cookies can, however, be used for negative purposes. Since they store preferences and information about users’ browsing history, both on a particular site and on several other sites, Cookies can be used as a form of Spyware. Many anti-spyware products are aware of this fact therefore they constantly mark Cookies to be deleted in removal/ virus scanning/ anti-spyware proceedings.
Generally, browsers have integrated privacy settings that provide different levels of Cookies acceptance, period of validity and automatic wipe after the user has visited a certain website.
Other security issues related to Cookies:
Because identity protection is very valuable and it represents the right of every internet user, it is indicated to inform about any potential problems Cookies can create. Because of the fact that information is constantly transmitted both ways between the browser and the website through Cookies, if an attacker or an unauthorized person intervenes during data transmission he/ she will be able to intercept the information contained in the Cookie.
Though very rare, this situation can happen if the browser connects to a web server through an unencrypted network (e.g. unsecured WiFi network).
Other Cookie-based attacks involve wrong settings of Cookies on the servers. If a server does not require the browser to use only encrypted channels, attackers can use this vulnerability to trick browsers in sending information through unsecured channels. Attackers then use the information in order to access certain websites in an unauthorized manner. It is very important for you to make sure you are choosing the most suitable method of protecting your personal data.
9. Tips for a safe and responsible Cookie-based navigation.
Here are a few tips that can ensure you a carefree internet browsing while using Cookies:
- If you do not mind Cookies and are the only person who uses the computer, you can set long term expiration marks for browsing history and personal access data storage.
- If you share the access to your computer you may consider setting your browser to delete individual browsing data every time you close the browser. This is an option of accessing the websites which place Cookies and of deleting any information regarding the visit on the website when you close the browsing session.
- Install and constantly update anti – spyware applications.
Many of the spyware detection and prevention applications include detection of attacks on websites. Thus, they prevent the browser from accessing websites which may exploit browser vulnerabilities or download malicious software.
Make sure that your browser is always updated.
Many Cookie – based attacks take place due to he exploitation of old versions browsers’ vulnerabilities.
Cookies are everywhere and cannot be avoided if you want to enjoy access on the best and biggest Internet websites – local or international. With a clear understanding of how they operate and the benefits they bring, you can take the necessary security measures so as to browse the Internet with confidence.
Refusing or disabling Cookies can make certain websites impracticable or difficult to use/ visit. Furthermore, refusing Cookies does not mean you won’t be receiving online advertising anymore.
It is possible to set the browser to refuse or to accept Cookies from a particular website. But if you are not registered using Cookies you will not be able to leave any comments.
All modern browsers offer the possibility to change Cookie settings. These settings are usually found in “Options” or “Preferences” menu of your browser.
The following links can be useful in order to understand these settings; otherwise you can use the “Help” option of the browser for more details.
Cookie settings in Internet Explorer
Cookie settings in Firefox
Cookie settings in Chrome
Cookie settings in Safari
For third-party cookies’ settings you can check the website below:
10. Useful links
If you are looking for more information on cookies and what are they used for, we recommend the following links:
Microsoft Cookies guide
All About Cookies