What are cookies and how do they benefit you?
Cookies are small text files that are placed on your computer or mobile device when you browse websites. Cookies are not actual programs or software. When you visit a website it stores a snippet of text from your visit; the next time you visit, this text is retrieved by the website and they recognise you. This can be used differently depending on the actual website visited. You can think of cookies as providing a “memory” for the website, enabling it to recognise a user and respond appropriately. Cookies on our website do NOT store any personally identifiable information such as names, addresses, email addresses or phone numbers.
- Remember your settings during visits;
- Enable you to share pages (names/blog articles) with social networks like Facebook or Twitter;
- Continuously improve our website for you.
- Collect any personally identifiable information – we will always ask for your express permission if we ever do collect this information;
- Collect any sensitive information, without your express permission.
What information is kept by cookies?
A cookie will typically hold: The name of the website that it has come from; The duration of the webpage visit using computer or phone; A value – usually a randomly generated unique number.
How long do cookies stay on your computer? Session cookies – these only last until you close your browser. They are not stored on your hard drive. They are usually used to track the pages that you visit so that information can be customised for you for that visit. Persistent cookies – these are stored on your hard drive until you delete them or they reach their expiry date. These may, for example, be used to remember your preferences when you use the site.
- Website function cookies (such as session or preference cookies)
- This includes holding information once you’ve logged in to save you having to re-login each time you visit a different page during your session;
- Once you log off or close the browser the session cookie will be removed.
- Social media cookies
- To facilitate easy sharing or liking of content on social network platforms such Facebook and Twitter, we have included ‘share’ and ‘like’ buttons on our site.
- The privacy implications on this will vary from social network to social network and will be dependent on the privacy settings you have chosen on these networks.
- Third party and advertising cookies Our site, like most websites, includes functionality provided by third parties. A common example is an embedded YouTube or Vimeo video. Disabling these cookies is likely to break the functions offered by these third parties.
- Analytics cookies
- How visitors reached our website (e.g. from a search engine, advert, social media site, etc.);
- The activity of users on the site such as the number of pages viewed, time spent on individual pages, the pages on which visitors leave our site;
- How often visitors return to our site;
- Visitor technology used (e.g. browser, operating system, device, etc.).
- These statistics help us make our site as user-friendly as possible, to ensure a good experience for all visitors.
We use Google Analytics, which is a program that helps us measure site usage details including the examples above.
- Site Improvement Cookies
We regularly test new designs or site features on our site. We do this by showing slightly different versions of our website to different people and anonymously monitoring how visitors respond to these different versions. Ultimately this helps us to offer you a better website.
We use Google Webmaster Tools.
- Third party vendors, including Google, that use display ads on sites;
You may opt out of the DoubleClick cookie by visiting the Google advertising opt-out page https://policies.google.com/technologies/ads or you may opt out of Google Analytics by visiting the Google Analytics opt-out page https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout.
How do you turn off cookies? You can switch cookies off by adjusting your internet browser settings to stop accepting cookies. There are many different browsers and versions, some of which are listed below. Simply click on the relevant browser link to learn how to disable and manage cookies. If your browser is not listed, you can visit the preferred search engine.
- Internet Explorer https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/17442/windows-internet-explorer-delete-manage-cookies
- Mozilla Firefox https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/disable-third-party-cookies
- Safari https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201265
- Google Chrome https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/95647?hl=en
Please be aware, however, that if you do disable cookies, certain services on the website will not be available to you and your use of these will be impaired.