“Cookies” are small text files downloaded to your computer by the web server that is delivering web pages to you. One cookie may keep a note of the items in your website shopping basket, another may used to check whether you have persmission to see a password protected area. Although they can be used to aid advertising, they are in themselves harmless and cannot contain malicious code or do damage to your computer.
The vast majority of websites use short term cookies to aid navigation whilst many also use longer term cookies. See ‘How long do Cookies Last?’ further down this page.
The rest of the page tells you:
- About Cookies: More about Cookies and how they work
- How to control or delete cookies
- About the cookies used on this website
- Links to further or more detailed information
1. About Cookies
What is a Cookie?
A cookie (standard web cookie) is a small text file placed on your computer whilst visiting a website. If you examined the cookie it would appear as a series of numbers and letters, not usually readable as plain text. It is set by the ‘web server’ that sends the web pages to your computer.
Although web cookies may be used to monitor your web browsing, a cookie can’t contain viruses or malicious code.
What do Cookies do?
Generally, a cookie is used to ‘remember’ your actions or preferences. If you log in to a website, or place an item in a shopping basket, the cookie allows your web browser to carry to information when you move from page to page on the website. Without the cookie, the item in your shopping basket would be ‘forgotten’ as soon as you left the item description page and moved to another page such as another item page or the checkout page.
Cookies may also be used to ‘remember’ preferences such as how many items your searches should display. They may also be used to target the advertising that some websites use to generate income.
A typical national name commercial website may place 7 or 8 different cookies, expiring at different times and tracking different information.
Each standard web cookie applies only to the particular web browser you are using at time that it is set. If you use two web browsers (say, Firefox and Internet Explorer), cookies registered by one web browser cannot be used by the other. (see below for comments on Flash Cookies which behave differently).
Who creates the Cookies?
Cookies are set by the administrators of the website you are viewing but they can also be set by third parties who provide extra content for the website.
A First Party of cookie is set directly by the website you are visiting and can only be used by that website and only in the web browser in which it was set.
Extra ‘third party’ content shown on a webpage may include embedded videos such as YouTube, advertising messages, third party search boxes, tracking and analytics code. This content may contain Third Party cookies and these could be accessed by several websites in an affiliate group.
How long do Cookies last on my computer?
Nearly all website use session cookies to help you navigate smoothly from one page to another within a particular website. These cookies ‘self destruct’ after you leave the website or are destroyed if you don’t request a new page within a certain time period, typically between 10 and 30 minutes. This type of cookie is usually just a unique number, meaningless except that it is your number for the duration of that session. In the example shown, the information temporarily stored on your computer is: ‘901323f313c0a5eb32d872ff927d9′ – so represents no security threat.
Persistent Cookies (longer term) cookies (not used by Stone and Fire) can remember your choices or preferences for the next time you visit a site. One may be set to remember which items you chose for a ‘wish list’ or in a shopping basket. Another could remember your postal address to save you filling out a new form every time you buy something. The expiry date for these cookies is set by the website code designer and may typically remain on your computer for a year or more. Persistent cookies also used on some website to deliver targeted advertising the next time you visit the website.
2. How to control or delete your cookies?
Ordinary web cookies of the type discussed so far can be deleted using your web browser. In Firefox you can delete individual cookies: see ‘Tools / Options / Privacy / delete cookies’. In Internet Explorer you can set preferences: see ‘Tools / Internet Options / Privacy’. Other browsers will have a similar process for controlling or removing cookies.
As cookies are just small text files they can also be deleted manually if you know where to look. For instance, Internet Explorer cookies are typically found in a folder such as:
C:\Documents and Settings\YourName\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files
3. Cookies used on this website
This website uses simple ‘session cookies’ described above. These cookies contain no sensitive information and are deleted after you leave this website. They are also deleted if you do not make any further page requests within 20 minutes.
The Youtube videos embedded in this site on some pages may have cookies set by Youtube.
At present, no persistent cookies are used on this website.
Controlling your personal information
You may choose to restrict the collection or use of your personal information in the following ways:
- whenever you are asked to fill in a form on the website, look for the box that you can click to indicate that you do not want the information to be used by anybody for direct marketing purposes
- if you have previously agreed to us using your personal information for direct marketing purposes, you may change your mind at any time by writing to or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will not sell, distribute or lease your personal information to third parties unless we have your permission or are required by law to do so. We may use your personal information to send you promotional information about third parties which we think you may find interesting if you tell us that you wish this to happen.
You may request details of personal information which we hold about you under the Data Protection Act 1998. A small fee will be payable. If you would like a copy of the information held on you please write to email@example.com.
If you believe that any information we are holding on you is incorrect or incomplete, please write to or email us as soon as possible, at the above address. We will promptly correct any information found to be incorrect.
We are committed to ensuring that your information is secure. In order to prevent unauthorised access or disclosure, we have put in place suitable physical, electronic and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect online.
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 settings to decline cookies if you prefer. This may prevent you from taking full advantage of the website.
We take your privacy very seriously and comply with the recent UK and EU law on handling cookies and provide (you) the user with means to remove such cookies or prevent your computer from accepting them in the future.
Below is a table with the cookies our website placed on your computer
Below the table you will find instructions on removing cookies for all major web and mobile browsers so that you can find out about how to manage your cookies.
[cookies] You’ll need to install the WordPress plugins and follow the instruction here http://pedromatias.co.uk/How-To-Make-Your-WordPress-Site-UK-Cookie-Law-Compliant for the shortcode to work. Delete this paragraph once you’re done! Enjoy 🙂
Browser specific instructions to block and remove cookies
4. Information on Cookies from other websites
aboutcookies.org contains a great deal of information on cookies and how to control them.
See the Wikipedia article on standard cookies. These are also known as web cookies or HTTP cookies.
See the Wikipedia article on Flash Cookies These are also known as LSOs (Locally Stored Objects).