Cookies In Use on This Site

Cookies and how they Benefit You

Our website uses cookies, as almost all websites do, to help provide you with the best experience we can. Cookies are small text files that are placed on your computer or mobile phone when you browse websites

Our cookies help us:

Make our website work as you'd expect
Remember your settings during and between visits
Improve the speed/security of the site
Allow you to share pages with social networks like Facebook
Personalise our site to you to help you get what you need faster
Continuously improve our website for you
Make our marketing more efficient (ultimately helping us to offer the service we do at the price we do)

We do not use cookies to:

Collect any personally identifiable information (without your express permission)
Collect any sensitive information (without your express permission)
Pass data to advertising networks
Pass personally identifiable data to third parties
Pay sales commissions

You can learn more about all the cookies we use below

Granting us permission to use cookies

If the settings on your software that you are using to view this website (your browser) are adjusted to accept cookies we take this, and your continued use of our website, to mean that you are fine with this. Should you wish to remove or not use cookies from our site you can learn how to do this below, however doing so will likely mean that our site will not work as you would expect.

More about our Cookies

Website Function Cookies

Our own cookies


We use cookies to make our website work including:

Showing you which pages you have recently visited
Tailoring content to your needs

There is no way to prevent these cookies being set other than to not use our site.

Third party functions

Our site, like most websites, includes functionality provided by third parties. A common example is an embedded YouTube video. Our site includes the following which use cookies:

Google - Privacy Policy

Disabling these cookies will likely break the functions offered by these third parties

Social Website Cookies

So you can easily “Like” or share our content on the likes of Facebook and Twitter we have included sharing buttons on our site.

Cookies are set by:

ShareThis - Privacy Policy provide us with lots of sharing buttons all in one neat package
AddThis - Privacy Policy provide us with lots of sharing buttons all in one neat package

The privacy implications on this will vary from social network to social network and will be dependent on the privacy settings you have chosen on these networks.

Anonymous Visitor Statistics Cookies

We use cookies to compile visitor statistics such as how many people have visited our website, what type of technology they are using (e.g. Mac or Windows which helps to identify when our site isn't working as it should for particular technologies), how long they spend on the site, what page they look at etc. This helps us to continuously improve our website. These so called “analytics” programs also tell us if , on an anonymous basis, how people reached this site (e.g. from a search engine) and whether they have been here before helping us to put more money into developing our services for you instead of marketing spend.

Turning Cookies Off

You can usually switch cookies off by adjusting your browser settings to stop it from accepting cookies (Learn how here). Doing so however will likely limit the functionality of our's and a large proportion of the world's websites as cookies are a standard part of most modern websites

It may be that you concerns around cookies relate to so called "spyware". Rather than switching off cookies in your browser you may find that anti-spyware software achieves the same objective by automatically deleting cookies considered to be invasive. Learn more about managing cookies with antispyware software.

The cookie information text on this site was derived from content provided by Attacat Internet Marketing http://www.attacat.co.uk/, a marketing agency based in Edinburgh. If you need similar information for your own website you can use their free cookie audit tool.

Cookie Policy

About cookies

What are cookies in computers?

Also known as browser cookies or tracking cookies, cookies are small, often encrypted text files, located in browser directories. They are used by web developers to help users navigate their websites efficiently and perform certain functions. Due to their core role of enhancing/enabling usability or site processes, disabling cookies may prevent users from using certain websites.

Cookies are created when a user's browser loads a particular website. The website sends information to the browser which then creates a text file. Every time the user goes back to the same website, the browser retrieves and sends this file to the website's server. Computer Cookies are created not just by the website the user is browsing but also by other websites that run ads, widgets, or other elements on the page being loaded. These cookies regulate how the ads appear or how the widgets and other elements function on the page.For Managing cookies for different browsers see here

Standard uses for browser cookies

Website servers set cookies to help authenticate the user if the user logs in to a secure area of the website. Login information is stored in a cookie so the user can enter and leave the website without having to re-enter the same authentication information over and over.More information

Session Cookies are also used by the server to store information about user page activities so users can easily pick up where they left off on the server's pages. By default, web pages really don't have any 'memory'. Cookies tell the server what pages to show the user so the user doesn't have to remember or start navigating the site all over again. Cookies act as a sort of “bookmark” within the site. Similarly, cookies can store ordering information needed to make shopping carts work instead of forcing the user to remember all the items the user put in the shopping cart.

Persistent or tracking Cookies are also employed to store user preferences. Many websites allow the user to customize how information is presented through site layouts or themes. These changes make the site easier to navigate and/or lets user leave a part of the user's “personality” at the site. For Information on session and persistent and tracking cookies, see here

Cookie security and privacy issues

Cookies are NOT viruses. Cookies use a plain text format. They are not compiled pieces of code so they cannot be executed nor are they self-executing. Accordingly, they cannot make copies of themselves and spread to other networks to execute and replicate again. Since they cannot perform these functions, they fall outside the standard virus definition.

Cookies CAN be used for malicious purposes though. Since they store information about a user's browsing preferences and history, both on a specific site and browsing among several sites, cookies can be used to act as a form of spyware. Many anti-spyware products are well aware of this problem and routinely flag cookies as candidates for deletion after standard virus and/or spyware scans.See here for some privacy issues and concerns.

The way responsible and ethical web developers deal with privacy issues caused by cookie tracking is by including clear descriptions of how cookies are deployed on their site. If you are a web developer and need advice on implementation of cookies and a privacy policy, we suggest you contact marketing specialists who offer search engine optimisation services. These privacy policies should explain what kind of information is collected and how the information is used. Organizations using the cookies initiative started by IAB Europe include: InviteMedia Networkadvertising.org : andAntor

Most browsers have built in privacy settings that provide differing levels of cookie acceptance, expiration time, and disposal after a user has visited a particular site. Backing up your computer can give you the peace of mind that your files are safe.

Other cookie-based threats

Since identity protection is highly valued and is every internet users right , it pays to be aware of what threat cookies can pose.

As cookies are transmitted back and forth between a browser and website, if an attacker or unauthorized person gets in between the data transmission, the sensitive cookie information can be intercepted. Although relatively rare, this can happen if the browser is connecting to the server using an unencrypted network like an non-secured WiFi channel.Internet security is only attainable if you regualrly use a anti-virus protection programme.See our anti virus protection section.

Other cookie-based attacks involve exploiting faulty cookie-setting systems on servers. If a website doesn't require browsers to use encrypted channels only, attackers can use this vulnerability to trick browsers into sending sensitive information over insecure channels. The attackers then siphon off the sensitive data for unauthorized access purposes.

New Laws for the use of cookies and other technologies that store online user information.

On May 26th 2011, new rules governing the use of cookies by websites comes into force in Europe.

Rather than the "Opt out" option for website visitors, websites will need to specifically gain the consent of their visitor and they must "Opt In" to be able to store cookies on their computer or other devices.This is expected to be difficult to manage and enforcement will more than likely be done subtlely and with encouragement rather than with the threat of fines and penaltys.

What does the new law say?
The new requirement is essentially that cookies can only be placed 
on machines where the user or subscriber has given their consent. 
6 (1) Subject to paragraph (4), a person shall not store or gain 
access to information stored, in the terminal equipment of a subscriber 
or user unless the requirements of paragraph (2) are met. 
(2) The requirements are that the subscriber or user of that terminal 
equipment-- 
(a) is provided with clear and comprehensive information about the 
purposes of the storage of, or access to, that information; and 
(b) has given his or her consent. 
(3) Where an electronic communications network is used by the 
same person to store or access information in the terminal equipment 
of a subscriber or user on more than one occasion, it is sufficient for the purposes of this regulation that the requirements of paragraph (2) 
are met in respect of the initial use. 
“(3A) For the purposes of paragraph (2), consent may be signified by a 
subscriber who amends or sets controls on the internet browser which 
the subscriber uses or by using another application or programme to 
signify consent.
(4) Paragraph (1) shall not apply to the technical storage of, or 
access to, information-- 
(a) for the sole purpose of carrying out the transmission of a 
communication over an electronic communications network; or 
(b) where such storage or access is strictly necessary for the 
provision of an information society service requested by the subscriber 
or user.

Key tips for safe and responsible cookie-based Web browsing

Due to their flexibility and the fact that many of the largest and most-visited websites use cookies by default, cookies are almost unavoidable. Disabling cookies will lock a user out of many of the most widely-used sites on the Internet like Youtube, Gmail, Yahoo mail, and others. Even search settings require cookies for language settings. Here are some tips you can use to ensure worry-free cookie-based browsing:

Customize your browser's cookie settings to reflect your comfort level with cookie security or use the cookie cleaner included in Abine's free Privacy Suite.

If you are very comfortable with cookies and you are the only person using your computer, you may want to set long expiration time frames for storing your personal access information and browsing history.

If you share access on your computer, you may want to set your browser to clear private browsing data every time you close your browser. While not as secure as rejecting cookies outright, this option lets you access cookie-based websites while deleting any sensitive information after your browsing session.

Install and keep antispyware applications updated

Many spyware detection, cleanup applications, and spyware removers include attack site detection. They block your browser from accessing websites designed to exploit browser vulnerabilities or download malicious software.

Make sure your browser is updated

If you haven't already, set your browser to update automatically. This eliminates security vulnerabilities caused by outdated browsers. Many cookie-based exploits are based on exploiting older browsers' security shortcomings.

Cookies are everywhere and can't really be avoided if you wish to enjoy the biggest and best websites out there. With a clear understanding of how they operate and how they help your browsing experience, you can take the necessary security measures to ensure that you browse the Net confidently.

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