What are Cookies?
Cookies are small text files, which sometimes include a unique identifier, that our website places on your computer. This file is not a programme and doesn’t do anything. It is a text-only file that can be read using a programme such as Notepad.
There are ‘session’ Cookies and ‘persistent’ Cookies. A session Cookie stays on your machine only as long as you are visiting our site and a persistent Cookie stays on your computer so that our site can recognise your computer when you visit again.
An example of a session Cookie is the one that is loaded by our shopping cart so that it can keep track of your purchase throughout the purchase process.
If you are a registered user on our site and you have clicked ‘Remember Me’ when logging in, our site will place a persistent Cookie on your computer so that you don’t have to type in your username and password the next time you visit us using the same computer.
What Cookies do we use?
- We have Cookies that are loaded by our shopping cart and by our login process.
- We have social sharing buttons scattered around our site and these buttons load a persistent Cookie. These buttons allow you to share the content you are looking at on various social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. The content will only be shared if you actively click on one of the social sharing buttons.
- The Facebook ‘Like’ button and the Twitter ‘Follow’ buttons at the bottom of our home page indicate whether you have already Liked or Followed us. In order to recognise you the next time you visit, these buttons place a Cookie on your computer.
- We use Google Analytics to track the traffic to our site. Google loads a number of session Cookies and a persistent Cookie. The tracking does not identify you in any personal way. It is a way for us to find out if people are visiting us more than once, how long they stay on our site, where in the world they are from, how much time they spend with us, how they found us, and so on.
How do we use Google Analytics?
You may be wondering why it is necessary to track your browsing habits on our site at all.
We use this information to:
- Improve our web pages – if we notice that a lot of people are landing on a particular page, and immediately leaving, we know that the information we are providing is not clear or interesting. We can then fix the page and, hopefully, make it more useful.
- Find out where our traffic is coming from – this helps us to work out where we should be focusing our marketing efforts. For example, if we notice that a lot of our traffic is coming from a particular website, we may decide to put an advert on that site, or ask the site owner if we can put more information on their site.
- Find out where in the world our visitors are based and other interesting statistics like how long people tend to spend on our site and whether people visit us only once, or more often.
This statistical information is all aggregated and does not allow us to track one particular person’s browsing habits. It gives us a snapshot of all visitors for a particular period.
Can Cookies be disabled or removed?
You can take control of the Cookies on your computer through your browser settings. If you use more than one browser (you may use Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox if you have a PC, or Safari and Opera on your Mac) you will need to do this for all the browsers you use.
The website www.aboutcookies.org has instructions for the control and deletion of Cookies on all the different browsers currently available. Please remember, though, that if you disallow Cookies it will have an impact on some functions on the websites you visit. For example, you won’t be able to remain logged in to a site or click ‘Remember Me’ so that you don’t have to log in each time you visit.
You can read our Cookies Policy here.
You can read our Legal Notice here.