What are Cookies and why are they used?
A cookie is a small file, typically of letters and numbers, downloaded to the device used to browse this website. Cookies are then sent back to the website on each subsequent visit you make. Cookies are useful because they allow our website to recognise your device. Cookies are created when your browser loads a particular website. The website sends information to your browser which then creates the small text file. Every time you go back to the same website, the browser retrieves and sends this file to the website’s server. Cookies are created not just by the website being browsed but also by other websites that run ads on that web site or web page, widgets, or other elements on the page being loaded. These Cookies regulate how ads appear or how the widgets and other elements function on the page.
What can’t Cookies do?
Cookies are plain text files. They are not made to perform functions (so they are not .exe files) or make copies of themselves. They cannot browse or scan your computer, snoop on you in any way or dig and extract private information from your hard disk.
Cookies are NOT viruses or malicious code.
Cookies help your browser deliver the full features designed into websites. These features include smooth login, preference settings, themes, shopping carts, and many other features. Cookies cannot scan or retrieve your personal information.
What information is in a cookie?
Cookies usually contain random alphanumeric characters and are intended to help you access a site faster and more efficiently. For example, Cookies can store information to help you enter a site without having to login. In effect, Cookies tell the website that your browser has been to the site before without having to know your exact identity. Cookies don’t scan your computer or do any kind of investigation to find out your personal information. Any personal information they contain is from your input on a website’s form. If a Cookies store any personal information, this information is coded in such a way that it is unreadable to any third party who happens to access your cookie folder. The only computer that can read and decode the information is the server that created the cookie originally.
Different types of cookie.
First-party Cookies come from the website your are viewing and can be either persistent or session types. Websites might use these Cookies to store information that is re-used the next time you visit the site.
Third-party Cookies come from other websites’ advertisements rather than the site you are browsing (these are often contained in pop-up ads or banners). Websites might use these Cookies to track your navigation through the third party website(s) for marketing purposes. Either first or third party cookies can be either “session Cookies” which expire at the end of a browser session (which is from when you open the browser window to when you close it) or they can be stored for longer in which case they are referred to as “persistent Cookies”.
What are session Cookies used for?
Session Cookies allow websites to link together the actions of a user during a browser session. They may be used for a variety of purposes such as remembering your preferences on a website. Webpages have no memory built in, so a user going from page to page will be treated by the website as a completely new visitor every time a new page is viewed. Session Cookies enable the website you are visiting to keep track of your movement within a website to tell the web server containing the website where you are and where you left off last time you visited. This lets you pick up where you left off and acts like a bookmark personal to you. A common example where session Cookies are used is the shopping cart feature of any e-commerce website. When you visit a page of the catalog and select an item, the session cookie remembers your selection so your shopping cart will have the items you selected when you go to the check out. Without session Cookies, if you were to go to the checkout stage of an online sale, the new page (the checkout page) wouldn’t recognize your past activities on prior pages (i.e. what you added to the basket) and your shopping cart would always be empty. Session Cookies could also be used for security when you access internet banking or to facilitate use of webmail. These session Cookies expire after a browser session ends, so would not be stored longer term. You can manage Cookies through the settings feature of your browser. Instructions on how to do this for the most commonly used browsers are available on this website. Persistent Cookies – these stay until they expire.
What are persistent Cookies used for?
Persistent Cookies help websites remember your information and settings (your preferences) when you visit them in the future. This results in faster and more convenient access since, for example, you don’t have to login again because the user authentication data is being remembered. Other website features facilitated by persistent Cookies include website language selection, theme selection which allows you to effectively customise the way you navigate a site you visit regularly, menu preferences, internal site bookmarks or favorites. This is not a full list of persistent cookie functions but it is intended to show you the types of thing that persistent Cookies control. On your first visit, the website is viewed in default or non-customised mode. During your visit, you select your preferences and these preferences are remembered, through the use of the persistent cookie, so that next time you visit the site you can navigate in a familiar way. For example, a website may offer its contents in different languages. On your first visit, you may choose to have the content delivered in English and the site may record that preference in a persistent cookie set on your browser. When you revisit that site it will use the cookie to ensure that the content is delivered in your chosen language without you having to reset the language choice. A persistent cookie enables a website to remember your preferences via the cookie on subsequent visits, speeding up or enhancing your experience of the website functions.
Where do persistent Cookies get stored?
Persistent Cookies are stored on your computer in between browser sessions, which allows your preferences or actions across the whole site (or in some cases across different websites) to be remembered. Persistent Cookies may also be used to target adverts you may be interested in based upon the choices and preferences you make while browsing that site.
What Cookies do we use on this website?
We only collect Google Analytics information on this website to log details of visitor behaviour patterns. We do this to find out things such as the number of visitors to the various parts of the site, which areas are of most interest and which areas are the easiest to find. We use the information we gather to improve the site navigation and user experience when visiting this website. You may delete and block all Cookies from this site, but parts of the site may not work properly. To find out more about the Cookies we use and how to delete them, see below. We do not collect personally identifiable information from any site visitors via Cookies.
Google Analytics Cookies used on this website
|_utma||This cookie is typically written to the browser upon the first visit to your site from that web browser. If the cookie has been deleted by the browser operator, and the browser subsequently visits your site, a new _utma cookie is written with a different unique ID. This cookie is used to determine unique visitors to your site and it is updated with each page view. Additionally, this cookie is provided with a unique ID that Google Analytics uses to ensure both the validity and accessibility of the cookie as an extra security measure.||2 years from set/update.|
|_utmb||This cookie is used to establish and continue a user session with your site. When a user views a page on your site, the Google Analytics code attempts to update this cookie. If it does not find the cookie, a new one is written and a new session is established. Each time a user visits a different page on the site, this cookie is updated to expire in 30 minutes, thus continuing a single session for as long as user activity continues within 30-minute intervals. This cookie expires when a user pauses on a page on your site for longer than 30 minutes. You can modify the default length of a user session with the |
|30 minutes from set/update.|
|_utmc||This cookie is no longer used by the |
ga.js tracking code to determine session status.Historically, this cookie operated in conjunction with the
__utmb cookie to determine whether or not to establish a new session for the user. For backwards compatibility purposes with sites still using the
urchin.js tracking code, this cookie will continue to be written and will expire when the user exits the browser. However, if you are debugging your site tracking and you use the
ga.js tracking code, you should not interpret the existence of this cookie in relation to a new or expired session.
|Expires when browser is closed.|
|_utmz||This cookie stores the type of referral used by the visitor to reach your site, whether via a direct method, a referring link, a website search, or a campaign such as an ad or an email link. It is used to calculate search engine traffic, ad campaigns and page navigation within your own site. The cookie is updated with each page view to your site.||6 months from set/update.|
For more information on Google analytics Cookies, visit http://www.google.com/policies To opt out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites visit http://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout. This allows you to download and install a Google analytics cookie free browser.