Cookies

Cookies

My Privacy Policy defines my company principles in relation to the collection, processing, and storage of your information.  This Cookie Policy is intended to help explain what cookies are, why they are used, and what control you have over them.

What are cookies?

Cookies are small text files.  If the website has an SSL certificate then they will be encrypted.  They are generated when you visit a website and are stored in the browsing device’s software program.  Typically, they store data unique to your device and are essentially used to identify your device for the duration of your current visit (viewing different pages of the website) and for subsequent visits.  They will store information such as your language, location, the date and time of visit, and so on.

This is useful for you as it means you do not have to set and agree to certain settings and conditions each time you visit the same website.  Say for instance, an airline website where you want to see flights from a nominated airport and prices in a certain currency.

This is also useful for the website owners and developers as they can monitor, collate and analyse visitor behaviour for trends, site traffic peaks, and so on, to help improve the website features and functionality and to enhance the website performance and the visitors’ experience.

Cookie behaviour is set by the website but your browser settings allow what the cookie can or cannot do.  Certain functionality of a website will depend on what cookies are set and allowed to do.  For example; the website may want to run a script of code to enable a slideshow of photographs, your browser may deem such code as a security threat and block the website from doing so.  If you wanted to see the slideshow then you would have to allow this code to be run.  Further more, rejecting a request to load one piece of code may impact how the next part of the website loads; thus, the consequence of ‘blocking’ cookies could adversely impede the functionality of the website or prevent its use at all.

There are different types of cookies and they are used for varying reasons but you have full control over them in your browser settings.  This control is particularly useful to you if your device is used by children and you want to set parental guidance. 

There are Two Types of Cookie

Session Cookies:

A session cookie is created each time you visit a website.  It will store session information for the entirety of your visit to enable fluidity in navigating the various pages of the website.  Session cookies are automatically deleted when you close the website or log out of it if you had been logged in.  An example of session cookie usage would be selecting an airline flight, its date, time, and price – the session cookie will hold this information as you proceed through the choices to purchase.

Persistent Cookies:

A persistent cookie will be created the first time you visit a website.  By default these cookies are designed to be stored on your device, by your browser, indefinitely.  As such, they will remain on your device until you delete them.

A persistent cookie essentially does the same job as a session cookie.  However, as it remains on your device any website settings or preferences are remembered for subsequent visits of the same website.

This information stored would be similar to that of a session cookie, its main deployment is to speed up website loading times.  Further information, such as log in credentials, can be stored in this way; eliminating the logging in process for future visits.

Third-Party Cookies

A third-party cookie will generally be a persistent cookie, and it is created by a third-party entity (not the website you are visiting).

Third-party cookies are present and employed for third-party links and software.  Social Media links and buttons, Youtube clips, Live Chat support, and advertising & marketing companies are examples of third-party cookie usage.

Cookie Profiling & Third-Party Ad Serving

Cookie or ‘Web Profiling’ is a practice employed by marketing companies for direct advertising through the use of third-party cookies.  Their cookie is deployed on your device and is used to track your browsing activity.  This data is then used to send advents based on your browsing history directly to a social media interface or webpage you may be viewing.

Third-party ad serving exists because your non-identifying data is deemed a valuable commodity.  It is deployed by the website owner specifically to earn them money.  While I have reservations about this type of subtle revenue, its earnings support many of the free services on the internet.  For example, Youtube would not be free without ad serving, neither would on-line newspapers or many free apps on your mobile device.  In essence, when you accept a cookie policy that employs third-party ad serving cookies, you are agreeing to exchange your data for use of their service.

You can block all or individual third-party cookies through your browser settings.

This website does not use third-party cookies.

How to Control Cookies

For further information on cookies and how to block or limit cookie functionality please follow this link.