A cookie is a small file which asks permission to be placed on your computer's hard drive. Once you agree, the file is added and the cookie helps analyse web traffic or lets you know when you visit a particular site. Cookies allow web applications to respond to you as an individual. The web application can tailor its operations to your needs, likes and dislikes by gathering and remembering information about your preferences.
We use traffic log cookies to identify which pages are being used. This helps us analyse data about web page traffic and improve our website in order to tailor it to customer needs. We only use this information for statistical analysis purposes and then the data is removed from the system.
Overall, cookies help us provide you with a better website, by enabling us to monitor which pages you find useful and which you do not. A cookie in no way gives us access to your computer or any information about you, other than the data you choose to share with us.
You can choose to accept or decline cookies. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies if you prefer. This may prevent you from taking full advantage of the website.
How do they work?
The site then ’knows’ that you have been there before, and in some cases, tailors what pops up on screen to take account of that fact. For instance, it can be helpful to vary content according to whether this is your first ever visit to a site – or your 71st.
The good things about cookies:
Some cookies are more sophisticated. They might record how long you spend on each page on a site, what links you click, even your preferences for page layouts and colour schemes. They can also be used to store data on what is in your ‘shopping cart’, adding items as you click.
The possibilities are endless, and generally the role of cookies is beneficial, making your interaction with frequently-visited sites smoother - for no extra effort on your part. Without cookies, online shopping would be much harder.
The bad things:
So why the paranoia? The answer probably depends on how you feel about organisations – both big business and government – storing information about you. There is nothing especially secret or exceptional about the information gathered by cookies, but you may just dislike the idea of your name being added to marketing lists, or your information being used to target you for special offers. That is your right, just as others are entitled to go along with the process.
When cookies first started to appear, there was controversy. Some people regarded them as inherently sneaky - your PC was being used (without warning) to store personal information about you, which could then be used to build a picture of your browsing habits.
Cookies & the law:
In the UK, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) will be closely monitoring sites to make sure that they comply with this new legislation, so there will be no avoiding the regulations. Websites have had over a year to make the changes to their code, so there should be no excuses!
You can of course still change how cookies are stored on your machine by clicking on the 'Tools' menu in your internet browser, but you may find that the new law means your concerns about privacy and your personal data have been addressed.
If you would like us to remove any information we may have on you then please contact us and we will remove this within 24hrs of your request