What are cookies?
Cookies are very small text files which store very small amounts of information. They are used to remember settings and preferences between visits to the site, as well as information between different pages on the same site.
For security reasons, cookies can only be read by the site that set them. We have no access to cookies set on your computer by, for example, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft or any other website on the internet. To find out more about cookies, you might find the following link useful: Wikipedia: HTTP Cookies.
Currently, there are four types of cookies that may be generated as you browse our site: session cookies, persistent cookies, analytics cookies and performance cookies.
1. Session Cookies
As you move through the site, various pieces of information need to be stored in order for the site to function properly
This information is stored in a database and is referred to as a session. We set one cookie to keep track of which session you are using. Old session data is automatically deleted from our databases multiple times a day, so we do not store this information long-term.
In addition to the session cookie, we sometimes set a cookie to check if we can set cookies on your computer. This is done for diagnostic purposes when you use our contact form. We use this information to help solve any problems you may have encountered.
How do I control session cookies?
You can use your browser settings to control whether or not we set session cookies. More information on your browser settings is provided at the bottom of this page.
Please be aware that cookies are critical to the working of the site. If you choose to disable cookies from this site, you will not be able to log in and the functionality of the site will be greatly reduced.
2. Persistent Cookies
Also called permanent cookies, or stored cookies, persistent cookies are stored on a user’s hard drive until they expire (persistent cookies are set with expiration dates) or until the user deletes the cookie. Persistent cookies are used to collect identifying information about the user, such as browsing behaviour or user preferences for a specific website.
3. Analytics Cookies
In order to monitor how our sites are performing, we collect data about page visits. This information is completely anonymous — we cannot determine who it came from. When we use this data, we look at numbers of visitors overall rather than individual visits.
Analytics information is used in reports and to improve our site. For example, we have used analytics data to add, remove or change features of the site based on how popular they are with users.
We track, for example:
- the numbers of visitors to individual pages;
- when pages were visited;
- how long users stayed on the page;
- the page they came from;
- technical data about the device being used to browse the site (such as browser and operating system version, and display size) — we use this data to ensure that the technology our site uses is appropriate for the majority of our users, and how best to display the site for users who have less capable browsers.
More information about analytics cookies
We use Google to provide our analytics data. You can read more about how Google Analytics treats your data at: Google: Safeguarding your data.
How do I control analytics cookies?
Google provides a tool to opt-out of Google Analytics. This is available for all modern browsers in the form of a browser plugin.
Additionally, you can control how cookies are set using your browser settings.
4. Performance Cookies
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
To help us understand how visitors interact with our website, we use a heat mapping tool called Hotjar to record visitor sessions. When we are actively recording visitors, the Hotjar script initiates a websocket connection which sends the following information to the Hotjar servers:
- HTML changes that happen while a visitor uses our pages
- Mouse movements
- Mouse clicks
- Scroll movements
- Keystrokes only for whitelisted input fields
- Browser viewport size changes
Each event tracked is saved in Hotjar’s cloud database using a time stamp which is later used to replay back the events in sequential order. The Hotjar Tracking Code tracks our visitors as they visit different pages using a first party cookie. Hotjar can record both static and dynamic pages, shopping carts and logged in areas.
Hotjar does not track or record visitors which have cookies disabled. As a matter of fact, the Hotjar script doesn’t even initialise its different components if it detects that cookies are disabled.
More information about online advertising and tracking
The International Advertising Bureau has produced a website to give more information about privacy and advertising on the internet.
Controlling cookies within your browser
A browser is a program you use to view web pages. Your browser allows you to control what cookies are set on your computer, and how long they are stored. You may have more than one browser installed on your computer. In this case, you will need to change the settings for each browser you use.
Browser help pages relating to cookie settings
Browser manufacturers provide help pages relating to cookie management in their products. Please see below for more information.
- Internet Explorer
- Google Chrome
- Mozilla Firefox
- Safari (Desktop)
- Safari (Mobile)
- Opera Mobile
For other browsers, please consult the documentation that your browser manufacturer provides.