What Are Cookies?
Cookies are small pieces of data, stored in text files, which are stored on your computer or other device when websites are loaded in a browser. They are widely used to ‘remember’ you and your preferences, either for a single visit (through a ’session cookie’) or for multiple repeat visits (using a ‘persistent cookie’). They ensure a consistent and efficient experience for visitors, and perform essential functions such as allowing users to register and remain logged in. Cookies may be set by the site that you are visiting (known as ‘first party cookies’), or by third parties, such as those who serve content or provide advertising or analytics services on the website (‘third party cookies’).
What Cookies Are NOT
A cookie is not a virus, a trojan or a worm. It is not spam either, nor spyware, and it does not open any pop-ups.
What information do cookies store?
Cookies don’t usually store sensitive data about a website user such as credit card or bank account data, photographs or personal info. Pieces of information stored by cookies are related to technical and statistical data, as well as personal preferences for settings on a website, such as your preferred language or location.
The web server does not associate your person as the website user, but your browser is considered the user. In fact, if you are using a website by means of a particular browser (Chrome, for example) and then switch to use the same website with a different browser (Firefox, for example), you will realize that the website does not notice the fact that you are the same person who was accessing the site through Chrome earlier.
We use first party and third party cookies for several reasons. Some cookies are required for technical reasons in order for our website and services to operate, and we refer to these as “essential” or “strictly necessary” cookies. Other cookies enable us to provide a better user experience. Finally, third parties serve cookies through our website to provide tracking technologies which we use to analyze trends and improve the website as a whole.
Cookies Served Through Our Website
We use the following kinds of first party and third party cookies:
First Party Cookies:
If you leave a comment on our site you may opt-in to saving your name, email address and website in cookies. These are for your convenience so that you do not have to fill in your details again when you leave another comment. These cookies will last for one year.
If you have an account and you log in to this site, we will set a temporary cookie to determine if your browser accepts cookies. This cookie contains no personal data and is discarded when you close your browser.
When you log in, we will also set up several cookies to save your login information and your screen display choices. Login cookies last for two days, and screen options cookies last for a year. If you select “Remember Me”, your login will persist for two weeks. If you log out of your account, the login cookies will be removed.
If you edit or publish an article, an additional cookie will be saved in your browser. This cookie includes no personal data and simply indicates the post ID of the article you just edited. It expires after 1 day.
Third Party Cookies:
Our site uses analytics services, in particular Google Analytics, which gathers information allowing us to understand interactions with our website and ultimately refine that experience to better serve you. Google Analytics is a service of Google, Inc. You can consult here about the cookies used by Google.
How Can I Control Cookies?
You have the right to decide whether to accept or reject cookies.
This document was last updated Feb 1, 2019.