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. LinkedIn).
Cookies make browsing websites more efficient, they 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 our 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. To opt out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites please click here.
We also use social media cookies (Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter) which allow us to serve relevant promotional messages (including plain text and graphics) to your device.
Why do we need to outline our cookies and their use?
We are required by law to tell you about the cookies we use, explain what they are doing and why; and get your consent to store the cookies on your device.
The law is aimed at informing and educating web users on what cookies the websites they visit use and what they are for. The premise 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, Google, LinkedIn and Twitter in order to serve promotional messages to your device).
As noted earlier, you can clear the cookies on your browser by following instructions found here. You can also block cookies from our site, or any other site you visit, using your browser settings.
Need more information?
If you’d like more information on cookies and the ICO’s directive, please visit the Information Commissioner’s Office website.