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Our 'cookie' policy
The Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) (Amendment) Regulations 2011, now popularly becoming know as the 'cookie law’, came into force on 25 May 2012. As its name implies this Directive's been enacted to protect Web users' privacy and this covers the use of Web 'cookies'.
How we use 'cookies'
This website only uses Category 1 - 'Session cookies’ (please see below), however some of the websites and web features to which we provide links to may use other types of 'cookie'. As we are not responsible for their content or functionality, we recommend that you read the 'cookie’ policy for each site that you visit.
What are 'cookies'
'Cookies' are small files placed on a visitor's Internet enabled device (computer, phone, tablet, etc.,) during a website visit. Cookies are inert – they cannot harm a device and they don't spread viruses or malware. They do however record varying amounts of information during the course of a website/web page visit. There are two types but four categories of 'Web cookie'.
Category 1: Strictly necessary cookies – including those which make shopping carts, forms and logins work
Category 2: Performance cookies – including web analytics, affiliate tracking and performance testing
Category 3: Functional cookies – remembering settings
Category 4: Targeting or advertising cookies – including cookies placed to collect browsing habits
'Session cookies' (Category 1) are small text-based files created during website visits. These files are temporarily created and stored on the visitor's device then deleted automatically when the user closes their web browser. Some 'session cookies' are set to expire even before the browser is closed – for example, when their function is complete. Without 'session cookies' familiar tasks such as completing some online forms, accessing web content via a login or using an online store would require considerable extra effort on the part of the user. Responsibly used, 'session cookies' make a positive contribution to the Web user's experience and can continue to be deployed under these latest regulations providing their characteristics and essential function is clearly explained.
'Persistent', 'permanent' or 'stored cookies' (Categories 2/3/4) are identical in file format to 'session cookies' but remain on the user's device until either a pre-set expiry date or, in some cases, until physically deleted by the user. This type of 'cookie' tends to be used to collect information relating to a Web user's preferences within individual websites or about overall browsing behaviour. Used responsibly – for example, by allowing a visitor to set a preference for viewing a particular local forecast when visiting a national weather website is deemed beneficial and acceptable. Placing 'cookies' to record browsing habits and personal data and then using that information for unsolicited advertising purposes is not. Because the same type of 'cookie' can be used for both tasks the law now requires 'informed consent' to be sought from the user before 'persistent cookies' can collect information.
How do I block 'cookies’?
It's worth noting that Web browsing software has always allowed users to delete 'cookies' and/or block them – visit your Web Browser manufacturer's website to find out more. Examples below:
From mozilla.org manufacturers of the Firefox Web Browser: http://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/cookies-information-websites-store-on-your-computer
From Microsoft, manufacturers of the Internet Explorer Web Browser: