Website Tracking and Cookies

Choco chip cookie

There has been a lot of talk in the news about the EU Cookie Directive. This piece of legislation particularly covers tracking cookies, which are little files stored on your computer, that store information about pages you have visited on particular websites or adverts that have been displayed to you on a number of different websites.

As part of the legislation we are required to explain to you what our cookies are called and what they do. If we use cookies on our site, that are not required to make a site work, then we have to specifically ask your permission to use them. It's a bit like putting a "No trick or treaters please" on your door at Halloween, stopping the interference before it starts!

This page talks about the cookies and tracking that takes place on our sites and what you can do to help you manage your online presence.


Cookies are used for many reasons, but most fall in to the following types:

The EU Cookie Directive states that any cookies that are not "required" for the working of a website (so typically tracking and advertising cookies) must only be created after the site has explicitly explained what the cookie is to be used for and you have given your permission for them to create it. This legislation is only enforceable for sites run for European Union companies / organisations.

Our Cookies

Throughout our site we use cookies, some of which are destroyed the moment you close your browser, or delete your history. Below is a list of the cookies we create on our website and what they are used for:

Tracking on our website

When using our website your visit is logged using a tracking service, provided by Google. We capture things like your screen resolution, the browser you are using, the pages you visit and approximately how long you spend on our site. Nothing we collect can be used to identify you directly, nor would we want to. Our aims for our tracking analytics is to find out what our most popular pages are, how many pages are being visited and what technical things we need to concentrate on (such as screen width for website design or making sure our site works properly on mobile devices).

If you have Javascript turned off in your browser then the tracking code will not work and we would not be able to find out what pages you access.

Reducing the amount of information you give out

Obviously a simple solution to this problem would be to disable cookies in your browser, but then most of the world wide web would stop working for you! We are not saying cookies are a bad thing, but instead you should be aware of what your browser is telling people about you and what you look at. There are a number of things you can do to make sure that your online behaviour is as sheltered as possible:

  1. Regularly empty your browsing history, including your cookies. The side-effect of this is, though, that any website you have already logged into will "forget" you and you will need to login again on those sites. How this is done is different for the browser you use and the operating system you use (Windows, OSX, Linux, iOS, Android etc) but each application should have instructions on how to do this on their website / help system.
  2. Utilise a private mode on your browser. With private mode all your visiting information is destroyed the minute you close either the current tab or the browser. It also restricts what information is sent to web sites, therefore sending less information in the first place. Most browsers have an option for this.  In Internet Explorer it is called "InPrivate browsing" (in version 8 and 9), in Opera it is "New Private Tab", in Firefox it is "Start Private Browsing", Chrome has "New incognito window" (found under the menu icon) and Safari has "Private browsing".

Please remember that this advice goes for mobile devices as well.