What are cookies?
Cookies are small text files which a website may put on your computer or mobile device when you first visit a site or page. The cookie will help the website, or another website, to recognise your device the next time you visit. Web beacons or other similar files can also do the same thing. We use the term "cookies" in this policy to refer to all files that collect information in this way.
Cookies can serve many functions. For example, they can help a site to remember your username and preferences, analyse how well a website is performing, or allow a site to recommend content the owner believes will be relevant to you.
Certain cookies contain personal information – for example, if you click to "remember me" when logging in, a cookie will store your username. Most cookies won't collect information that identifies you, and will instead collect more general information such as how you arrived at the website, or your general location.
What sort of cookies are there?
Generally, cookies perform up to four different functions:
1. Essential Cookies
Some cookies are essential for the operation of a website. For example, some cookies allow the site to identify subscribers and ensure they can access the subscription only pages. If a subscriber opts to disable these cookies, the user will not be able to access all of the content that a subscription entitles them to.
2. Performance Cookies
Many sites utilise cookies to analyse how visitors behave and to monitor website performance. This allows them to provide a high quality experience by quickly identifying and fixing any issues that arise. For example, a site might use performance cookies to keep track of which pages are most popular, which method of linking between pages is most effective, and to determine why some pages are receiving error messages.
3. Functionality Cookies
These cookies to allow a site to remember your preferences. For example, cookies save you the trouble of typing in your username every time you access the site, and recall your customisation preferences, such as which regional edition of the website you want to see when you log in.
4. Third Party Cookies
Most companies use Google Analytics to help monitor website traffic. Google Analytics collects informationsuch as pages you visit on this site, the browser and operating system you use and time spent viewing pages. The purpose of this information is to help improve sites for future visitors.
Social plug-ins for Twitter and Facebook may also set or retrieve cookies on your machine, if you are logged in to these websites, or have previously downloaded cookies controlled by these sites.
Can a website user block cookies?
As we've explained above, cookies help you to get the most out of our website. However, if you do wish to disable our cookies then please follow the instructions on our "How to Manage Cookies" page.
Please remember that if you do choose to disable cookies, you may find that certain sections of our website do not work properly
These are some of the Cookies that you will typically find (though not always) on your computer, and what they are for, while visiting this site:
Cookie NameFunctionType / Time Limit
__utmaGoogle Analytics (web traffic statistics)Persistent. Expiry date shown
__utmbGoogle Analytics (web traffic statistics)Persistent. Expiry date shown
__utmcGoogle Analytics (web traffic statistics)Persistent. Expiry date shown
__utmzGoogle Analytics (web traffic statistics)Persistent. Expiry date shown
i.e. d5e58d498b4b15682dBrowser session cookie (may be 1 or more)Session. Expires on shutdown
virtuemartRequired for operation of shopping sectionSession. Expires on shutdown
xx_xxxxxxxx_tplName varies - stores page layout preferencePersistent. Expiry date shown
_twitter_sessTwitter module. Holds no personal dataSession. Expires on shutdown
Guest_idTwitter module. Holds no personal dataPersistent. Expiry date shown
kTwitter module. Holds no personal dataPersistent. Expiry date shown
orginal_refererTwitter module. Holds no personal dataSession. Expires on shutdown
datrFacebook user cookiePersistent. Expiry date shown
a_userFacebook user cookiePersistent. Expiry date shown
a_xsFacebook user cookiePersistent. Expiry date shown