Last updated on May 23, 2015.
What are cookies?
Cookies are small text files that are sent by a website to a web browser and contain information that is transferred to your computer’s hard drive. This enables the website to identify and track the web browser. Cookies can, among other functions, enable a website to recognize a device each time it visits, remember user preferences and recommend content. Cookies in themselves do not identify the individual user, but rather the computer used. However, some cookies will contain personal information such as a username.
Different cookies do different things and some are essential to the operation of a website whilst others are not. The different types of cookie are:
- Strictly necessary cookies. These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website, use a shopping cart or make use of e-billing services.
- Analytical/performance cookies. They allow us to recognize and count the number of visitors and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works, for example, by ensuring that users are finding what they are looking for easily.
- Functionality cookies. These are used to recognize you when you return to our website. This enables us to personalize our content for you, greet you by name and remember your preferences (for example, your choice of language or region).
- Targeting cookies. These cookies record your visit to our website, the pages you have visited and the links you have followed. We will use this information to make our website and the advertising displayed on it more relevant to your interests. We may also share this information (in anonymized form) with third parties for this purpose.
What cookies do we use?
You can find more information about the individual cookies we use and the purposes for which we use them in the table below:
|Cookie||Purpose||Expiry of cookie|
|wp-settings-time-11, wp-settings-11, wordpress_logged_in_[hash], PHPSESSID, bbuserid, bbthread_lastview, bbsessionhash, bbpassword, bblastvisit, bblastactivity, bbforum_view, bbcpsession||These cookies comprise strictly necessary, analytical/performance and functionality cookies. They enable us to identify you when you log into our site and to present our website to you in accordance with your settings.||These cookies expire 24 hours after the end of your session.|
|_pa||This is a targeting cookie provided by Perfect Audience, a subsidiary of NowSpots Inc. We use this cookie to make sure the ads you see on our website are relevant to you. Find out more at: www.perfectaudience.com.||The lifespan of a Perfect Audience cookie can last for up to 90 days.|
|Google Analytics cookies: _utma, _utmb, _utmc, _utmt, _utmz||Our website employs cookies from Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a web analytics service provided by Google, Inc. Google Analytics cookies are used to collect information about how visitors use our website. The cookies collect information in an anonymous form, including the number of visitors to the site, where visitors have come to the site from and the pages they visited. We use the information to compile reports and to help us improve our website. Google holds this information and provides us with access to it.
The Google Analytics cookies we use do the following:
_utma: distinguishes users and sessions.
_utmb/_utmc: determine whether a user is in a new session/visit.
_utmt: used to throttle request rate.
_utmz: determines how you reached our website.
Find out more about Google Analytics at: https://developers.google.com/analytics/devguides/collection/analyticsjs/cookie-usage.
|The lifespan of a Google Analytics cookie depends on what it is and what it does. Some expire at the end of your browser session, whilst others can last for up to two years:
_utma: 2 years
_utmb: 30 mins
_utmt: 10 mins
_utmz: 6 mths
What about third-party cookies?
Can I refuse or opt out of cookies?