Cookies are small pieces of information, stored by your web browser on your computer. They enable things like keeping you logged in as you move around a website, or carrying address and delivery details from page to page as you make an online purchase.
They’re very commonly used, right across the web. In fact, without them websites would struggle to deliver the kind of experience that we’ve all come to expect when online.
They can’t contain viruses, they just don’t work like that.
WHY ALL THE FUSS?
The EU is worried that some people may be misusing them and has created a directive that aims to prevent that.
The UK is one of the first EU member states to implement the directive as law although there still exists a lot of confusion about what’s actually required of website owners.
Cookies aren’t bad – they’re useful. The internet as we know it wouldn’t exist without them. Of course they can be used for nefarious purposes by unscrupulous websites but the same is true of many household objects.
We want to play it safe and make sure our users are fully informed.
WHAT COOKIES DO WE USE?
We automatically set the cookies listed below, so if you’re using our site you accept that we’re doing so. We use two types of cookies:
Session cookies which only exist while you’re on the site. When you close the window and leave the site, your browser will delete them. These are used for things like logging you in to the site.
Persistent cookies which are stored by your computer for your next visit to the site. These are used to maintain useful information such as what you added to your job cart.
This is set by our web server. It allows the site to identify you from one page to another during your visit. Your experience on the site would be pretty poor without it. In fact, we tried turning it off once and everything broke.
This cookie disappears when you close your browser. It doesn’t contain any personally identifiable information about you, just a random string of letters.
__utma, __utmb, __utmc, __utmz
We use Google Analytics (lots of websites do) to see how well our site is doing. These cookies are set by Google Analytics and allow us to view some anonymous information about the number of visits we get, the most popular pages and so on.
They don’t provide us with any personally identifiable information. __utmc is destroyed when you leave the site and close your browser but the others will hang around and may be there next time you visit.
There may be others, which we’ve forgotten to write about here.
BUT I DON’T WANT TO ACCEPT ANY COOKIES
We hope that you’re reassured by this explanation of what cookies we use and why we do so. If you do wish to block cookies from any sites, you can do so by changing your browser settings.