What is a cookie?
Cookies are text-only strings of information that are downloaded to your personal desktop, laptop computer or mobile device (each a “Device”) when you visit a website. Your web browser then sends these cookies back to the originating website on each subsequent visit, or to another website that recognises those cookies. You can find more information about cookies at www.allaboutcookies.org.
Cookies are very helpful and can be used for many different purposes. These include allowing you to navigate between pages efficiently, remembering your preferences, and making the interaction between you and the website quicker and easier. Sometimes cookies are used to help ensure that the adverts you see online are relevant to you and your interests.
Setting and storing cookies
Cookies may be set either by the website you are visiting (“first party cookies”) or by third party websites who run content on the website you are looking at (“third party cookies”).
They may be stored either for the duration of your visit to the website or for repeat visits. We will use the following terms to describe the storing of cookies:
Session cookie: A cookie that allows us to link your actions during a browser session. A browser session starts when you open the browser window and finishes when you close it. Session cookies are created temporarily and are deleted once the browser window is closed.
Persistent cookie: A cookie that remains on your Device for the period of time specified in the cookie and activated each time you visit the website that created that particular cookie.
Different types of cookies
There are four main types of cookie we use:
Strictly necessary cookies: These cookies are essential in order to enable you to move around and use the features of a website, or to provide a service requested by you. For example, remembering items you have placed in an online shopping basket. These cookies are required for basic site functionality and are therefore always enabled. We do not need to obtain your consent in order to use these cookies.
Functionality cookies: These cookies allow the website to remember choices you make (such as your user name, language or the region you are in) and provide enhanced, more personal features. For instance, a website may be able to provide you with local weather reports or traffic news by using a cookie to store information about the region in which you are currently located, remember changes you have made to text size, fonts and other parts of web pages that you can customise, and provide services you have asked for such as watching a video or commenting on a blog. The information these cookies collect may be anonymised and they cannot track your browsing activity on other websites.
Performance cookies: These cookies collect information about how you use a website, for instance which pages you go to most often, and if you get error messages from them. These cookies don’t collect information that identifies you. All of the information collected by these cookies is aggregated and therefore anonymous. It is only used to improve how the website works. Refusing these cookies may result in poorly-tailored recommendations and slow site performance.
Targeting cookies or advertising cookies: These cookies are used to deliver adverts that are more relevant to you and your interests. They are also used to limit the number of times you see an advertisement as well as help measure the effectiveness of the advertising campaign. They are usually placed by advertising networks with the website operator’s permission. They remember that you have visited a website and this information is shared with other organisations such as advertisers. Quite often targeting or advertising cookies will be linked to site functionality provided by the other organisation. For more information about online behavioural advertising cookies and online privacy, please see the guide produced by the internet advertising industry available at www.youronlinechoices.com. Refusing these cookies may result in seeing advertising that is not as relevant to you or you not being able to link effectively with social networks or not allowing you to share content on social media.
What data we collect via cookies
We use the following cookies on our websites:
We use the following first party functionality cookies:
PHPSESSID: This cookie records the start time of your browsing session for caching purposes, and makes the website more responsive. It is a session cookie (expiration 10 minutes).
cookie _tawkuuid: This cookie remembers the end user so that past chat conversations can be identified to improve service. It expires in 6 months.
_COOKIE_ACCEPT: To ensure that you do not need cookie information (banner) more often than necessary, we set a cookie through which you confirm that you have accepted cookie information. This cookie is stored for an indefinite period of time.
We sometimes use the following third party performance cookies on our websites, for our own internal purposes, so that we can provide you with a better user experience:
Google Analytics_ga and _gid: These cookies collect information about how visitors use a website, for instance which pages visitors go to most often, and if they get error messages from web pages. These cookies don’t collect information that identifies a visitor. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. It is only used to improve how a website works. These cookies expire in 1 year (_ga) or in 1 day (_gid). Information of your use of the website, along with the contents of the cookie, will be transmitted and stored by Google on servers in the United States. Google will use this information for the purpose of evaluating the use of the website and generating activity reports for us, and for providing other services related to website activity. Google may also provide this information to third parties if required to do so by law or if such information will be processed by such third parties for Google.
Please note that we do not use analytics cookies to collect any personally identifiable information about you. We may, however, combine your registration information with the data that we get from the above analytics services, so that we can analyse how you use our services.
How to manage your cookie settings
There are various ways in which you can manage and control your cookie settings.
You should bear in mind that, by deleting or blocking cookies, some or all of the websites you visit (or features of them) may not work properly or as effectively.
You can manage your cookie settings via your web browser, as well as at the websites of the third parties who place cookies on your Device via our websites.
Turning off cookies via your web browser
Most modern web browsers will provide you with some general information about cookies, enable you to see what cookies you’ve got, allow you to delete them all or on an individual basis, and enable you block or allow cookies for all websites or individually selected websites. You can also normally turn off third party advertising cookies separately.
Please note that if you adjust your cookie settings via your web browser then, unless you delete or block each cookie individually, the changes will apply to all websites that you visit – not just our websites. You will also need to adjust your cookies on a browser-by-browser basis.
Information about cookies is usually found in the ’Help‘ section of the web browser. Below are some links to the ’Help‘ sections of some commonly used web browsers:
Internet Explorer - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/196955
Windows Phone - http://www.microsoft.com/windowsphone/en-us/howto/wp7/web/changing-privacy-and-other-browser-settings.aspx
Google Chrome - http://support.google.com/chrome/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=95647
Google Android - http://support.google.com/android/?hl=en
Mozilla Firefox - http://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/cookies-information-websites-store-on-your-computer?redirectlocale=en-US&redirectslug=Cookies
Opera - http://www.opera.com/browser/tutorials/security/privacy/
Safari - http://www.apple.com/support/safari/
Blackberry - https://help.blackberry.com/en/blackberry-classic/10.3.1/help/mwa1334238823957.html
Turning off third party performance cookies
Google Analytics - https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout
Please bear in mind that, if you disable the above performance cookies, we will not be able to learn what people like or dislike about our sites. This makes it harder for us to improve our sites and make the experience better for you.
Updates to this policy