Cookie Policy

What is a Cookie?

Most websites you visit will use cookies in order to improve your user experience by enabling that website to ‘remember’ you, either for the duration of your visit (using a ‘session cookie’) or for repeat visits (using a ‘persistent cookie’).

Cookies do lots of different jobs, like letting you navigate between pages efficiently, storing your preferences, and generally improving your experience of a website. Cookies make the interaction between you and the website faster and easier. If a website doesn’t use cookies, it will think you are a new visitor every time you move to a new page on the site – for example, when you enter your login details and move to another page it won’t recognise you and it won’t be able to keep you logged in.

Some websites will also use cookies to enable them to target their advertising or marketing messages based for example, on your location and/or browsing habits.

Cookies may be set by the website you are visiting (‘first party cookies’) or they may be set by other websites who run content on the page you are viewing (‘third party cookies’). Find out more.

What is in a cookie?

A cookie is a simple text file that is stored on your computer or mobile device by a website’s server and only that server will be able to retrieve or read the contents of that cookie. Each cookie is unique to your web browser. It will contain some anonymous information such as a unique identifier and the site name and some digits and numbers. It allows a website to remember things like your preferences or what’s in your shopping basket.

What to do if you don’t want cookies to be set?

Some people find the idea of a website storing information on their computer or mobile device a bit intrusive, particularly when this information is stored and used by a third party without them knowing. Although this is generally quite harmless you may not, for example, want to see advertising that has been targeted to your interests. If you prefer, it is possible to block some or all cookies, or even to delete cookies that have already been set; but you need to be aware that you might lose some functions of that website.

(From http://www.bbc.co.uk/privacy/cookies/about)

This website uses Google Analytics

The analytics.js JavaScript library is part of Universal Analytics and uses first-party cookies to:

Distinguish unique users

throttle the request rate

When using the recommended JavaScript snippet, analytics.js sets cookies on the highest level domain it can. For example, if your website address is blog.example.co.uk, analytics.js will set the cookie domain to .example.co.uk. Setting cookies on the highest level domain possible allows users to be tracked across subdomains without any extra configuration.

Note: analytics.js does not require setting cookies to transmit data to Google Analytics.

analytics.js sets the following cookies:

Cookie Name Expiration Time Description

_ga 2 years Used to distinguish users.

_gat 10 minutes Used to throttle request rate.

Customization

The ga.js JavaScript library uses first-party cookies to:

Determine which domain to measure

Distinguish unique users

Throttle the request rate

Remember the number and time of previous visits

Remember traffic source information

Determine the start and end of a session

Remember the value of visitor-level custom variables

By default, this library sets cookies on the domain specified in the document.host browser property and sets the cookie path to the root level (/).

This library sets the following cookies:

Cookie Name Default Expiration Time Description

__utma 2 years from set/update Used to distinguish users and sessions. The cookie is created when the javascript library executes and no existing __utma cookies exists. The cookie is updated every time data is sent to Google Analytics.

__utmt 10 minutes Used to throttle request rate.

__utmb 30 mins from set/update Used to determine new sessions/visits. The cookie is created when the javascript library executes and no existing __utmb cookies exists. The cookie is updated every time data is sent to Google Analytics.

__utmc End of browser session Not used in ga.js. Set for interoperability with urchin.js. Historically, this cookie operated in conjunction with the __utmb cookie to determine whether the user was in a new session/visit.

__utmz 6 months from set/update Stores the traffic source or campaign that explains how the user reached your site. The cookie is created when the javascript library executes and is updated every time data is sent to Google Analytics.

__utmv 2 years from set/update Used to store visitor-level custom variable data. This cookie is created when a developer uses the _setCustomVar method with a visitor level custom variable. This cookie was also used for the deprecated _setVar method. The cookie is updated every time data is sent to Google Analytics.

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