Please read the following information carefully:
This website uses both its own and third-party cookies to provide visitors with a much better browsing experience and services tailored to their needs and interests.
In accordance with the EU e-Privacy Directive, in force since 26 May 2012, and with the provisions of Law No 506 of 17 November 2004 on the processing of personal data and the protection of privacy in the electronic communications sector, all visitors to the website are asked for their consent before cookies are sent to their computers.
What is a cookie?
An “Internet Cookie” (also known as a “browser cookie”, “HTTP cookie” or simply “cookie”) is a small file of letters and numbers that will be stored on a user’s computer, mobile device or other equipment from which the Internet is accessed. The cookie is installed by a request issued by a web-server to a browser (e.g. Internet Explorer, Chrome) and is completely “passive” (contains no software, viruses or spyware and cannot access information on the user’s hard drive).
“Cookies” play an important role in facilitating access to and delivery of the many services the user enjoys on the Internet, such as:
- Customize certain settings such as:
- the language in which a site is viewed;
- the currency in which certain prices or tariffs are expressed;
- keeping options for different products (measurements, other details, etc.) in the shopping basket (and storing these options) – thus creating ‘shopping basket’ flexibility;
- accessing old preferences by pressing the ‘Forward’ and ‘Back’ buttons.
- Cookies provide website owners with feedback on how their sites are being used by users so that they can make them even more effective and accessible to users;
- Allow multimedia or other applications from other sites to be embedded on a particular site to create a more valuable, useful and enjoyable browsing experience;
- Improve the effectiveness of online advertising.
What are the advantages of cookies?
A cookie contains information that links a web-browser (user) to a specific web-server (website). If a browser accesses that web-server again, it can read the information already stored and react accordingly. Cookies ensure users a pleasant browsing experience and support many websites’ efforts to provide convenient services to users: e.g. online privacy preferences, site language choices, shopping carts or relevant advertising.
What is the lifetime of a cookie?
Cookies are managed by web servers. The lifetime of a cookie can vary significantly, depending on the purpose for which it is placed. Some cookies are used exclusively for a single session (session cookies) and are no longer retained once the user has left the website, while other cookies are retained and reused each time the user returns to that website (‘persistent cookies’). However, cookies can be deleted by a user at any time via browser settings.
What are third-party cookies?
Certain sections of content on some sites may be provided through third party / providers (e.g. a news-box, a video or an advertisement). These third parties may place cookies through another website and they are called “third party cookies” because they are not placed by the owner of that website. Third party providers must also comply with applicable law and the site owner’s privacy policies.
These cookies may come from the following third parties: facebook.com, twitter.com, etc.
How cookies are used by the website
A visit to the website may place cookies for the purposes of:
- increase website performance;
- visitor analysis;
- user registration.
Other third party cookies
On some pages, third parties may set their own anonymous cookies in order to track the success of an application or to customize an application. Due to the way of use, the website cannot access these cookies, just as third parties cannot access cookies held by that website. For example, when the user shares an article using the social network button on a website, that social network will record the activity of the user, not the website on which the button is located.
What kind of information is stored and accessed through cookies?
Cookies store information in a small text file that allows a website to recognise a browser. The web-server will recognize the browser until the cookie expires or is deleted. The cookie stores important information that improves your web browsing experience, for example:
- settings for the language in which you want to access a site;
- Keeping a user logged into the webmail account;
- online banking security;
- keeping products in the shopping basket.
- Why are cookies important for the Internet?
Cookies are at the heart of the efficient functioning of the Internet, helping to generate a user-friendly browsing experience tailored to each user’s preferences and interests.Refusing or disabling cookies may make some websites unusable. Denying or disabling cookies does not mean that the user will no longer receive online advertising – only that it will no longer be able to take into account the user’s preferences and interests as evidenced by browsing behaviour.
Examples of important uses of cookies (which do not require a user to log in via an account):
- content and services tailored to user preferences – news categories, weather, sports, maps, public and government services, entertainment websites and travel services;
- offers tailored to users’ interests – password retention, language preferences (e.g. displaying search results in Romanian)
- retaining child protection filters on Internet content (family mode options, safe search functions);
- Measurement, optimization and analytics features – such as: confirming a certain level of traffic to a website, what type of content is being viewed and how a user gets to a website (e.g. via search engines, directly, from other websites, etc.). Website owners carry out these analyses to improve their websites for the benefit of users.
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, nor can they run automatically. Consequently, they cannot be duplicated or replicated on other networks to run or replicate again. Since they cannot perform these functions, they cannot be considered viruses. Cookies can, however, be used for negative purposes. Because they store information about users’ preferences and browsing history, both on a particular website and on other websites, cookies can be used as a form of Spyware. Many anti-spyware products are aware of this fact and consistently mark cookies for deletion as part of anti-virus/anti-spyware delete/scan procedures. Browsers generally have built-in privacy settings that provide different levels of cookie acceptance, validity period and automatic deletion after the user has visited a particular site.
Other security issues related to cookies
Since identity protection is very valuable and is the right of every Internet user, it is good to know what possible problems cookies can create.
Because they constantly transmit information back and forth between the browser and the website, if an attacker or unauthorised person interferes with the data transmission path, the information contained in cookies can be intercepted. Although very rare, this can happen if the browser connects to the server using an unencrypted network (e.g. an unsecured WiFi network).
Other cookie-based attacks involve mis-setting cookies on web 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. Attackers then use the information to gain unauthorised access to certain websites.
It is very important for users to be careful in choosing the most appropriate method of protecting personal information.
Tips for safe and responsible browsing based on cookies
Here are a few tips to ensure that you browse safely but with cookies:
- customise your browser settings, in terms of cookies, to reflect a level of cookie security that is comfortable for you;
- if you don’t mind cookies and you are the only person using your computer, you can set long expiry times for storing browsing history and personal access data;
- if you share access to your computer, you may consider setting your browser to delete individual browsing data each time you close the browser. This is an option to access websites that place cookies and delete any visitor information when you close your browsing session;
- install and constantly update anti-spyware applications. Many 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 up to date. Many cookie-based attacks exploit weaknesses in older versions of browsers.
Cookies are everywhere and can’t be avoided if you want to enjoy access to the best and biggest sites on the Internet – local or international. With a clear understanding of how they work and the benefits they bring, you can take the necessary security measures so you can surf the Internet with confidence.
What do you do if you do not want cookies to be installed on your computer?
Some people find the storage of information extracted from their computer or mobile device relatively invasive, especially when the information is stored and used by third parties unknown to them. If you prefer, you can block all or some cookies or even remove cookies that have been installed on your terminal. Be aware, however, that you may not be able to use certain functions. To enable this lock, you need to change your browser’s privacy settings. Some third party operators have developed tools whose modules allow the collection and use of data to be disabled. Disabling and refusing to receive cookies may make certain sites unusable or difficult to visit and use. Also, refusing to accept cookies does not mean that the user will no longer receive/see online advertising. It is possible to adjust your browser to stop accepting these cookies, or you can adjust your browser to accept cookies from a specific website. But, for example, if a user is not registered using cookies, they will not be able to leave comments. All modern browsers offer the possibility to change cookie settings.
These settings are usually found in the “Options”, “Settings” or “Preferences” menus (buttons) of the browser.