What are cookies?
A cookie, also known as an HTTP cookie, web cookie, or browser cookie, is a piece of data stored by a website on a user’s computer by a browser, and then subsequently sent back to the same website by the browser.
Why do we use them?
Cookies fulfil different roles. Some are required for site functionality, some allow us to analyse how our site is used and some are from third parties (i.e. Facebook).
Cookies make browsing websites more efficient, give the opportunity for advanced functionality and also allow our website team to analyse how the site is used (through Google Analytics for example).
A great example of a cookie at work is if you’ve ever visited an eCommerce site and put a product in your basket without completing the purchase. You may have returned a few days later to see the same item in your basket; it is the cookie on your computer that identifies to the website you have returned and re-populates your basket.
Why do we collect data on how visitors use our site?
Firstly, it’s important to point out we don’t collect any data that can identify a unique user or contact data on that person (unless of course you volunteer such information via the contact form for example).
We use Google Analytics to track how anonymous users make use of our site. The data we receive allows us to ensure our site remains easy to use, fully functional and gives users, such as yourself, the best possible experience.
Why do we need to outline our cookies and their use?
The ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) and UK Government have begun to enforce the E-Privacy Directive. The E-Privacy Directive is an EU based directive aimed at privacy protection in a digital environment.
The directive is aimed at informing and educating web users on what cookies the websites they visit use and what they are for. The premise behind the directive is that users will have more control over their online privacy and gain a greater understanding of information collected (although we must point out that information collected on our site cannot be used to identify a single user).
What cookies we use?
As noted earlier, our cookies fall into three categories. Those that are required for functionality, those that allow us to collate and analyse site usage statistics and those that are used by third parties (such as Facebook).
As noted earlier, you can clear the cookies on your browser.. You can also block cookies from our site, or any other site you visit, using your browser settings. Unfortunately, if you chose to take this approach you will no longer be able to view our website as a number of the cookies listed above are critical to the site’s usage.
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