The 1-Minute Guide
Interested in this issue but short of time? Here’s what we think you need to know:
- We DO NOT store personal information in cookies
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)?
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): ico.org.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
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).
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.
Expiration: 2 years from set/update
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.
Expiration: 30 minutes from set/update
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.
Expiration: Not set
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.
Expiration: 6 months from set/update
“functionality” cookies are used to provide services or to remember settings to improve your visit