Cookies and Privacy
What are cookies?
Cookies are small files that get put on your computer by websites as you surf them. These cookies can store lots of information, which can have privacy implications. We like to think all the cookies used on this site are fairly innocuous, but that's for you to judge. We also make use of temporary “session cookies” to determine if you have logged into the password protected areas of our website. These only exist while your web browser is open and are wiped as soon as you close the window.
Anonymous tracking software
We use Google Analytics (like most other businesses) – a service provided by Google. They gather anonymous data on how people are using this site and then provide us with visitor statistics, details of page views etc. It’s a bit like CCTV but it automatically blurs your face. This means we can see what people have done, but not who’s doing it. If you are anti-Google, you can opt-out of being tracked by Google Analytics at http://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout (we’d prefer you didn’t though, as this data is helpful for improving our website).
Third party website widgets
We also embed some page elements from trusted third parties so that we can provide you with features like interactive maps, like buttons and videos. These make our website more interesting for you, however, be aware that most of these come with their own cookies. They are:
- Google (Maps + Plus)
Since we do not control these cookies, we cannot guarantee what they do. But we are confident that they value your privacy just as much as we do. In many cases, the cookies are used to generate the same kind of information as Google Analytics (see above) and often use Google Analytics, so opting-out of Google Analytics will also opt you out of these cookies too.
How do I opt out?
- You can opt out of Google analytics and other Google services here and here.
- You can control how Facebook tracks your behaviour online here.
- You can control how Twitter handles your personal information here.
- You can opt out of ShareThis tracking here.
While we would love to offer a cookie-free version of our site, we simply do not have the resources to provide and maintain one. Unfortunately, if you are really anti-cookie there only option is to not use our site. You can remove any cookies we have already put on your machine within your browser settings - pressing Ctrl+Shift+Delete may work in many cases.
Cookies may be placed on your device by our third party service providers. These remember that you have visited a website and provide you with targeted adverts which are more relevant to you and your interests. This is often called online behavioural advertising (OBA) (also known as ‘behavioural targeting’ or ‘interest based advertising’) and is done by grouping together shared interests based upon previous web browsing activity. This information can also be used to infer things about you, such as your demographics (age, gender etc), which further helps to target advertising.
Personalised retargeting is another form of OBA that enables our advertising partners to show you adverts based on your online browsing away from our websites. For example, if you visited the website of an online travel company you may start seeing adverts from the same travel company displaying special offers or showing you the products that you were browsing when you come to our websites. This allows companies to advertise to people who previously visited their website. These cookies will usually be dropped by third-party advertising networks, such as Criteo, Rubicon and Vibrant Media.