A cookie is a small file of letters and numbers that we store on your browser or the hard drive of your computer if you agree. Cookies contain information that is transferred to your computer’s hard drive.
We use the following cookies:
- Strictly necessary cookies. These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website, use a shopping cart or make use of e-billing services.
- Analytical/performance cookies. They allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works, for example, by ensuring that users are finding what they are looking for easily.
- Functionality cookies. These are used to recognise you when you return to our website. This enables us to personalise our content for you, greet you by name and remember your preferences (for example, your choice of language or region).
- Targeting cookies. These cookies record your visit to our website, the pages you have visited and the links you have followed. We will use this information to make our website and the advertising displayed on it more relevant to your interests. We may also share this information with third parties for this purpose.
A ‘session cookie’ will expire at the end of your browsing session once you close your web browser; ‘persistent cookies’ on the other hand have a set expiry date and will be stored on your computer until either this date is reached, or you delete your cookies using your browser settings.
COOKIES WE USE
You can find more information about the individual cookies we use and the purposes for which we use them in the table below:
|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.|
|utmz||When visitors reach your site via a search engine result, a direct link, or an ad that links to your page, Google Analytics stores the type of referral information in a cookie. The parameters in the cookie value string are parsed and sent in the GIF Request (in the utmcc variable). The expiration date for the cookie is set as 6 months into the future. This cookie gets updated with each subsequent page view to your site; thus it is used to determine visitor navigation within your site.
|PREF||Google’s safebrowsing api / g+|
|HSID||These cookies are used by GoogleMaps to deliver maps and track usage of their service.|
|SSID||These cookies are used by GoogleMaps to deliver maps and track usage of their service.|
|APISID||These cookies are used by GoogleMaps to deliver maps and track usage of their service.|
|SAPISID||These cookies are used by GoogleMaps to deliver maps and track usage of their service.|
|NID||These cookies are used by GoogleMaps to deliver maps and track usage of their service.|
|BEAT||These cookies are used by GoogleMaps to deliver maps and track usage of their service.|
|ULS||These cookies are used by GoogleMaps to deliver maps and track usage of their service.|
|datr||This identifies the web browser being used to connect to Facebook independent of the logged in visitor. This cookie plays a key role in Facebook’s security and site integrity features|
|lu||This is used to manage how the login page is presented to the visitor. The lifetime is the same as c_user|
|c_user||This contains the user ID of the currently logged in visitor. The lifetime of this cookie is dependent on the status of the “keep me logged in” checkbox. If the checkbox is set, the cookie expires after 30 days of inactivity, otherwise the cookie is a session cookie and will therefore be cleared when the browser exits|
|xs||This contains the session number, a session secret and an optional “secure” flag (if visitor has enabled secure browsing feature). The lifetime is the same as c_user|
|VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE||This cookie is set by YouTube when you load a video embedded on one of our pages|
|PREF||These cookies allow integration with YouTube so that pages can be liked and shared.
The majority of web browsers (Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Opera, Safari etc.) will allow you to block or delete cookies from being installed on your device via your browser settings.
Depending on your browser, further information can be obtained via the following links:
- Firefox – http://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/Cookies
- Internet Explorer – http://support.microsoft.com/kb/196955
- Google Chrome- http://support.google.com/chrome/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=95647
- Safari – http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?path=Safari/3.0/en/9277.html
- Opera – http://www.opera.com/browser/tutorials/security/privacy/
Mobile phone users may have to refer to their handset manual for details on how to block cookies using their mobile browser.
On the whole, cookies are quite harmless as they contain only anonymous strings of text. Some people, however, are uncomfortable at the thought of external websites being able to store data on their devices or pass it to third parties for advertising purposes. The good news is that it is relatively simple to block and delete cookies via a computer or mobile device’s control panel – the down side of this being that functionality will be impaired across a great many websites.
For more information on cookies and how they work, please visit www.allaboutcookies.org.