To comply with the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations we periodically conduct a Cookie Audit of our website. This Cookie Audit was last updated on 20 November 2014.
Our website uses a number of cookies to store data on our visitor's computers.
To find out how to control the cookies that are created on your device please see this page. To find out how to delete cookies please see this page. For more information about managing cookies, please see http://www.aboutcookies.org/.
Cookies created by this website
This website creates a number of cookies, which are refered to as first party cookies as they are specific to the host site that created them. All the first-party cookies which are created do not store any personal or sensitive information, or anything that makes you personally identifiable to us. They are used for essential functionality such as security when processing form data or for analytics which helps us use anonymous visitor data to gain a better understanding of how people use our website.
Our web server may create an essential session cookie called PHPSESSID, which is essential for your use of some of the interative elements of the website, such as contact forms. The cookie contains a session ID which is a mechanism for distinguishing your visit to our website from any other visitors that may be using the website at the same time. This cookie expires when you leave our website.
We use Google Analytics, which creates a number of first-party cookies, all prefixed __utm:
__utma contains a unique and anonymous identifying ID, which allows us to ensure that subsequent visits to our website are recorded as belonging to the same (unique) visitor. This cookie expires after two years.
__utmb used to establish and continue a unique user session. Each time you request another page from the website the cookie is updated to expire after 30minutes.
__utmc works with __utmb to determine when to create a new session for a website visitor. This is a session cookie and expires when you exit the browser.
__utmz tracks how you found us and is used to calculate traffic and navigation within the website.
__utmv You may also sometimes find this cookie is created which relates to custom reporting segments, a feature which we occasionally use on Google Analytics
We don't share the data that Google Analytics collects, and we don't believe that our use of Google Analytics is privacy-intrusive. We use the data that is collected in the following ways:
- to report, in aggregate, how our visitors find and use our website;
- to understand overall visitor behaviour; and
- to inform how we update and improve our website.
To opt out of our use of Google Analytics you may wish to consider using the Google Analytics Opt-out Browser Add-on.
There is a cookie created called hittail_ok to monitor the popularity of content on our website, in particular the blog. This cookie contains non-personally identifiable information and is deleted when you close your web browser. Every computer that accesses this website is assigned a different cookie that allows us to statistically monitor how many people are using the website. It allows us to determine the popularity of certain content in order to decide on what content to write in future blog posts. It does not allow us to track what content a specific person or device has viewed.
Paid Search Marketing
We use Google Adwords as a means of advertising our website. If you click on a sponsored advert on Google, information about the ad and keywords that brought you to our website is stored in the __utmz cookie mentioned above. This helps us track visits from Google Adwords that led to an enquiry, so that we can determine the return on investment of our advertising spend. No personally identifyable information is stored in this cookie, however we may be able to associate a contact form you have submitted, with analytics data stored in the __utmz cookie. This information is used to determine which ads and keywords led to an enquiry, so that we can optimise the Adwords campaign accordingly.
Cookies created by external services
In addition to our first-party cookies, you may be served one or more of the following third-party cookies during your visit to our website. By using our website we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on our website, but we have provided information at the top of this page on how you can set your browser to prevent cookies being created.
Third party cookies are cookies created by an external service when you use a page on our website. These cookies are specific to the third-party's domain and accordingly the data held in them can be seen and managed by the third party and not by us. We control whether or not we use the third-party service with our website, and how it is integrated and presented on our website. We do not have control over the cookies themselves. We carefully select 3rd party services to use on our website; ones that are not likely to abuse your privacy according to the terms of their privacy policies.
We may use the ShareThis plugin to help us market and distribute our content. ShareThis offers online services and applications that allow users to share content on the Web more easily.
ShareThis creates a number of cookies in order to identify a particular device that was used to interact with their service for the purposes of tracking usage and for delivering targeted advertising to its users.
ShareThis creates the following cookies:BC_BANDWIDTH, ShareUT, __stid, __unam, __uset, stOAuth
It may also create the following Google Analytics cookies for analytics purposes: __utma, __utmz
We use an external service to add comment functionality to our blog. This allows users to post comments about blog posts using their existing social network accounts such as facebook.
Disqus creates a number of cookies for the purpose of uniquely identifing your browser and lets Disqus help you log in faster and enhance your navigation through the site. A cookie may also convey information to us about how you use the Service.
Disqus creates the following cookies: disqus_unique, __qca, testCookie, UID, UIDR.
It may also create the Google Analytics cookies for the purpose of tracking usage of its service: __utma, __utmb, __utmc, __utmz.
Flash Local Shared Object (LSO) storage
If you want to manage the contents of your Flash Local Shared Objects, please use Adobe's Website Storage Settings panel.
We rarely use Flash technology on our website, however in some limited circumstances we may use Flash as follows:
If you have any concerns about the cookies we create or the way we aim to attain consent from you, please contact us and we'll be happy to answer your questions.