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What is a Cookie?

A cookie is a piece of information in the form of a very small text file that is placed on an internet user's hard drive or device. It is generated by a web page server, which is basically the computer that operates a web site. The information the cookie contains is set by the server and it can be used by that server whenever the user visits the site. A cookie can be thought of as an internet user's identification card, which tell a web site when the user has returned. You can find out more information about cookies at aboutcookies.org

What Cookies we use.

CMS

Our website is built using a Content Management System (CMS), and the CMS uses a session cookie. A session cookie is only valid for the current user’s session. They are stored in a temporary location on the user’s browser and deleted when the browser is closed. Ours happens to be named CMSSESSIDxxxxxxxx where the numbers assigned to the cookies are randomly generated by our server.

The value of the cookie (known as the session id) is generated upon the first visit of a user to a web page (first visit since they last opened their browser), and sent as a cookie to the client. That cookie is then re-transmitted back to the server on each subsequent request. That cookie contains only a simple randomly generated, unique string. There is no personal information of any sort stored in this cookie or transmitted over the internet.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics are also used, they collect statistics from our website to show us how visitors use our site. We use the information it collects to create reports and to help us to constantly improve the site. The cookies collect information in an anonymous form, information like the number of visitors to the site, where visitors have come from and which pages they have visited. We do not collect any personal information.

Google Analytics creates 4 cookies:

_utma (lasts for 2 years)
_utmb (lasts for 30 minutes)
_utmc (lasts until you close your browser)
_utmz (lasts for 6 months)

There is more information available about

Google Analytics cookies, and Google offer a Google 'opt-out' plugin

if you don't want their cookies to be used on your browser.