What is a cookie?
A cookie is a small text file containing a snippet of information which a website can place on your computer or mobile device while you are using the website. It is normally used to identify your browser session or interaction with the website from everyone else’s on the internet for a particular website.
You can think of it like a post-it note the website leaves on your browser to remind the website of something when you move from page to page or return to the website at a later stage.
|Cookies can…||Cookies cannot…|
|Only store information you have given explicitly or metrics you have already provided by interacting with the website.||Read, steal or send information from your computer.|
Generally cookies are used to identify you, your browser session or a specific behaviour on our website. There are legitimate reasons for us to set these cookies. To give you a few examples:
Login and online shopping
To keep you logged in and to keep your items in your shopping basket when you move from page to page on the website, we need to be able to identify your browser session from all the other clients browsing our website at the same time. We would place a unique identifier cookie on your browser to achieve this.
When you tick the remember me tick box at a login screen so you don’t have to retype your login information every time you visit the website, we can store a token on your computer so when you come back some days later we know you have already logged in. This token is stored in a cookie.
Let’s say you have seen our cookie information disclaimer and consent to accepting cookies, we do not want to keep asking you for your consent, as you have already agreed to it and you may not wish to be pestered with the same question. We then will set a cookie to identify you have already agreed to our policy and we will hide the notification from you from that point onwards.
Let’s say you are entitled to a special offer as a client from a partnering website, we would set a cookie when you land on our website to “mark” you as being referred by a partner. When you come back to purchase even days after your initial visit we would still be able to offer you the special offer because we would have been reminded of your affiliation by means of the cookie.
We may monitor which pages are most used on our website or how long users spend looking at some content on our website. This helps us monitor content our clients value and update unused content to appeal more to our user base which improves your user experience. To identify unique visits we would set a cookie so we know when you return, or at which point you decide you have had enough.
Why should you care about cookies?
You have an interest in cookies because:
- It’s your right to know what information websites store on your computer. (See the EU Cookie law)
- You should make an informed decision whether you explicitly or implicitly allow websites to set cookies on your browser.
- You should know what kind of information is left behind and when it will expire when you use a website. This is especially important if you intend parting with confidential or sensitive information during your visit.
The EU cookie law
In May 2011 the European Union released a directive to all European Union states to implement a law to protect internet users by forcing websites to disclose and gain acceptance either explicitly or implicitly to set cookies on your browser. For more information please see ico.gov.uk
Cookies we use
We have performed an audit on our website and have identified the following cookies. As content on our website change on a frequent basis, cookies may change and the list may be outdated from time to time. We regularly audit our website and update the list of cookies we use. We will never store sensitive information in cookies.
|1||ASPSESSIONIDCCTDCTSS||End of session||Session id Numeric information||Essential|
|2||__utma||2 Years||Numeric time identifier||Tracking|
|3||__utmb||1 Hour||Numeric time identifier||Tracking|
|4||__utmc||End of session||Numeric time identifier||Tracking|
|5||__utmz||6 Months||Numeric time identifier||Tracking|
|6||OAID||1 Year||Alpahnumeric value (no personal details)||Tracking|
|7||VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE||7 Months||Alpahnumeric value (no personal details)||Functional|
How do I stop cookies?
If you choose to do so you can stop cookies from being set. You can disable cookies by updating your browser preferences. The procedure will differ from browser to browser and you should consult your browser’s help file. You can also have a read through AboutCookies.org. It offers some guidance on cookies and how to disable them in the popular browsers. If you are unsure you should consult your browser manufacturer, application provider or local support technician for advice.
What will happen if I stop cookies?
The effect of disallowing cookies depends on what you are trying to achieve while using the website. If you were:
You will probably notice very little difference apart from perhaps preferences not being maintained, certain offers not being available or consistent reminder screens appearing.
Using data entry forms, login, restricted areas and social media
Data entry forms may not work as expected although simple single page forms may be unaffected. Login and restricted areas will be unavailable and you will probably be asked to log in time and time again without ever being able to see the content. Social media like Facebook and Twitter share buttons will work with a limited feature set where possible. Other more advanced features may not function at all.
Online shopping, loyalty schemes and affiliate programs
You will not be able to add items to your basket or wish lists and you will not be able to check out. Your purchase will not be tracked against your loyalty scheme. Possible affiliate offers will not be available to you.
Third party cookies
In order to deliver rich content and provide a competitive business offering to you and our partners we may utilise some third party utilities embedded within our website. For example these may be:
Videos delivered by YouTube or other video providers; Advertising provided by ad-servers or advert aggregators like Google Ad-sense; Affiliate tracking, so referrers get a percentage commission on a sale like Post Affiliate Pro; Analytics services like number of unique visits to a specific page by Google Analytics;
The use of these technologies may not always be obvious to you as a site user and the 3rd parties may also leave cookies on your browser.
We respect your privacy and will never knowingly partner with companies who use irresponsible or negligent practices and techniques. Suppliers are vetted before any functionality is added onto our websites. Like everything else technology is forever evolving and changes may be made to third party technology without us knowing. We do monitor and take a proactive role in protecting your privacy and will immediately remove features if any irresponsible or negligent behaviour from any partners or technology providers become known to us.