What are Cookies?

A cookie is a small text file which is placed on your computer's hard drive, with your permission. A cookie can serve many beneficial purposes, such as logging visited pages on a site, or memorising items you had in your shopping cart. The most common types of cookies are authentication cookies which allow us to find out whether a user is logged into a website or not.

A cookie cannot contain viruses nor install malware or spyware on your computer. A cookie does not give us access to your computer or any details about you, other than data that you have entered yourself.

Why do we use Cookies?

To make your experience more hassle free. Cookies help us to analyse web traffic, maintain upright and accurate site activity, and let us know which parts of our website perform the best and are most used. This helps us to tailor our website to our viewer's requirements and needs.

We may use cookies to:

  • Analyse our web traffic using an analytics package. Aggregated usage data helps us improve the website structure, design, content and functions.
  • Identify whether you are signed in to our website. A cookie allows us to check whether you are signed in to the site.
  • Store information about your preferences. The website can then present you with information you will find more relevant and interesting.
  • To recognise when you return to our website. We may show your relevant content, or provide functionality you used previously.

Controlling Cookies

You may change your browser settings to stop the use of cookies. However, please note that doing this may affect how our website functions, meaning that you can't enjoy our website to its full potential, and your browsing experience could decline. For example, some pages and services may become unavailable to you.

Unless you have changed your browser to refuse cookies, our website will issue cookies when you visit it.

What Cookies do we use?

The table below shows you the cookies that are currently deployed on our website, how they are used, and how long they are stored for.

Name: Description: Expiration Time:
PHPSESSID This is a built-in cookie that has been included to enable building of our website. Deleted after an extended period of inactivity, or when browser is closed.
_ga Used to distinguish users. 2 Years
_gat Used to throttle request rate. 10 Minutes
__utma Used to distinguish users and sessions. The cookie is created when the javascript library executes and no existing __utma cookies exists. The cookie is updated every time data is sent to Google Analytics. 2 years from set/update
__utmt Used to throttle request rate. 10 minutes
__utmb Used to determine new sessions/visits. The cookie is created when the javascript library executes and no existing __utmb cookies exists. The cookie is updated every time data is sent to Google Analytics. 30 Minutes
__utmc Not used in ga.js. Set for interoperability with urchin.js. Historically, this cookie operated in conjunction with the __utmb cookie to determine whether the user was in a new session/visit. Deleted after a short time or when you close your browser.
__utmz This is a Google Anaytics cookie which identifies how the site was searched; what search engine was used, what link/s were clicked on, and what keywords were used for searching. It also tracks where the visitor came from and whereabouts in the world the site was accessed from. 6 Months
__utmv Used to store visitor-level custom variable data. This cookie is created when a developer uses the _setCustomVar method with a visitor level custom variable. This cookie was also used for the deprecated _setVar method. The cookie is updated every time data is sent to Google Analytics. 2 years from set/update

 

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