Cookie Policy

Information About Our Use of Cookies

The 1-Minute Guide

 

Interested in this issue but short of time? Here’s what we think you need to know:

  • We use cookies to make our website easier for you to use
  • We use cookies to help stop our online-forms from being used to send spam-email
  • We use cookies to monitor usage so we can spot trends and make improvements
  • We DO NOT use cookies to identify individuals (and never will)
  • We DO NOT store personal information in cookies
  • We believe that our use of cookies is very necessary for the smooth functioning of the website
  • We do not believe that they pose any threat to your personal privacy or online security

 

Can you withdraw your consent to cookies (i.e. opt out)?

You will have seen a statement when you first visit our site that says by using this site you agree to our use of cookies according to our policy. Accordingly, we will take it that you consent to our using cookies if you continue to use our site.

We do not provide any specific functionality on our website to stop cookies, but if you do not consent to our using cookies, then you should either (a) set your browser to block cookies (your browser will have settings to enable this); or (b) cease using our website.

If you decide to disable cookies through your browser, you should find that most of the website works as expected, but functions that rely on cookies are obviously disabled. These functions may include using online forms (e.g. our enquiry form) or any feature that requires login.

 

What law do we comply with?

We comply with the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulation 2003, as amended by The Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) (Amendment) Regulations 2011.  These implement European Directives 2002/58/EC and 2009/136/EC.  These laws are regulated in the UK by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO): www.ico.gov.uk.

 

What are cookies?

A cookie is used by a website to send ‘state information’ to a Users’ browser and for the browser to return the state information to the website. The state information can be used for authentication, identification of a User session, User preferences, shopping cart contents, or anything else that can be accomplished through storing text data on the User’s computer.

Cookies cannot be programmed, cannot carry viruses, and cannot install malware on the host computer. However, they can be used to track users’ browsing activities which was a major privacy concern that prompted European and US law makers to take action.

Cookies are used by most websites for a variety of reasons – often very practical reasons to do with the operation of the website. However, they are also used to monitor how people are using the website (which pages are visited and how long is spent on each page). Each “visitor session” is tracked even though no effort is made to try to identify them in person.

More information can be found at: www.allaboutcookies.org

 

Use of Cookies on Our Website

 

WordPress Cookies

WordPress uses cookies, or tiny pieces of information stored on your computer, to verify who you are. There are cookies for logged in users and for commenters.

 

Twitter Cookies

Twitter uses these technologies on our own websites and services and on other websites that have integrated our services. This includes our advertising and platform partners’ websites and sites that use Twitter buttons or widgets, like our Tweet or follow buttons. Third parties may also use these technologies, for example, when you interact with their content from within our services, like when you click a link or stream media on Twitter from a third-party service, and to help with the delivery of ads shown on and off of Twitter. Read more.

 

LinkedIn Cookies

LinkedIn cookies can be used to do lots of different things, like recognize you when you visit LinkedIn, remember your preferences, and give you a personalised experience that’s in line with your settings. Cookies also make your interactions with LinkedIn more secure and faster. Additionally, cookies allow us to bring you advertising both on and off the LinkedIn site, and bring customised features to you through LinkedIn plugins such as our “Share” button. Read more.

 

Facebook Cookies

Facebook use these technologies for a variety of reasons, such as allowing them to show you content and advertising that’s most relevant to you; improving their products and services; and helping to keep their Services secure. While specific names of the Cookies and similar technologies that Facebook uses may change from time to time, to improve and update their Services, they generally fall into the set categories. Read more.

 

Google Analytics

We use Google Analytics to monitor usage of the website. Google Analytics collects information anonymously. It reports website trends without identifying individual visitors (not by name or IP address).

 

Google.com Cookies

We use different types of cookies to run Google websites and ads-related products. Some or all of the cookies identified below may be stored in your browser. You can view and manage cookies in your browser (though browsers for mobile devices may not offer this visibility). Read more.

We use the following google Cookies: Preferences, Security, Process and Session State.

 

Preferences

These cookies allow our websites to remember information that changes the way the site behaves or looks, such as your preferred language or the region you are in. For instance, by remembering your region, a website may be able to provide you with local weather reports or traffic news. These cookies can also assist you in changing text size, font and other parts of web pages that you can personalise.

Loss of the information stored in a preference cookie may make the website experience less functional but should not prevent it from working.

Most Google users will have a preferences cookie called ‘NID’ in their browsers. A browser sends this cookie with requests to Google’s sites. The NID cookie contains a unique ID Google uses to remember your preferences and other information, such as your preferred language (e.g. English), how many search results you wish to have shown per page (e.g. 10 or 20), and whether or not you wish to have Google’s SafeSearch filter turned on.

 

Security

We use security cookies to authenticate users, prevent fraudulent use of login credentials, and protect user data from unauthorised parties.

For example, we use cookies called ‘SID’ and ‘HSID’ which contain digitally signed and encrypted records of a user’s Google account ID and most recent sign-in time. The combination of these two cookies allows us to block many types of attack, such as attempts to steal the content of forms that you complete on web pages.

 

Process

Process cookies help make the website work and deliver services that the website visitor expects, like navigating around web pages or accessing secure areas of the website. Without these cookies, the website cannot function properly.

For example, we use a cookie called ‘lbcs’ which makes it possible for Google Docs to open many Docs in one browser. Blocking this cookie would prevent Google Docs from operating correctly.

 

Session State

Websites often collect information about how users interact with a website. This may include the pages users visit most often, and whether users get error messages from certain pages. We use these so-called ‘session state cookies’ to help us improve our services, in order to improve our users’ browsing experience. Blocking or deleting these cookies will not render the website unusable.

These cookies may also be used to anonymously measure the effectiveness of PPC (pay per click) and affiliate advertising.

For example, we use a cookie called ‘recently_watched_video_id_list’ so that YouTube can record the videos most recently watched by a particular browser.

 

__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 your 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 _setSession CookieTimeout() method.

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.

Not set.

 

__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.

 

Functionality

“Functionality” cookies are used to provide services or to remember settings to improve your visit.