What are cookies?
Cookies are small files that are put on your computer by websites as you surf them. These cookies can store lots of information which can have privacy implications. They can be removed at any time by ‘clearing out cookies’ through your browser – pressing Ctrl+Shift+Delete may work in many cases. I like to think all the cookies used on this site are fairly innocuous but that’s for you to judge.
What are the cookies we use?
Anonymous tracking software
I use Google Analytics (just like just about everybody else), a service provided by Google. They gather anonymous data of how people are using this site and then provide us with visitor statistics, details of page views etc. It’s like an online version of CCTV but one that automatically blurs your face so we can see what people have done, but not who. If you are anti-Google you can opt-out of being tracked by Google Analytics at http://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout, although we find the statistics really useful when planning our site.
I also store cookies through WordPress which is the Content Management System we used to build this site. The cookies are used to highlight problems with the site in terms of missing pages or errors. Again, all data is anonymous and I only ever look at this data if something has gone wrong with our site. To date, nothing has done wrong, but it’s useful to know it’s there in case anything ever does.
There’s so many great free toys you can add to websites these days and rarely can we resist – anything from Twitter buttons to software that power’s blog comments.
Collectively they make our website more interesting to you as a site visitor. Sadly most of these come with cookies – that’s the “price of free”. Each of them are setting cookies as you surf this site. They are:
I am working hard to work out what they all do but we are pretty confident that they all collect data anonymously unless you are already logged into their service. They probably just collect details of pages visited, anonymise it, aggregate it with several thousand or million others people’s anonymous data and then look at pretty graphs. In many cases the cookies are used to generate identical information to Google Analytics (see above) and indeed use Google Analytics, so opting-out of Google Analytics will also opt you out of these cookies too. We are working to find out more about each of the cookies used.
If you have any views on the cookies I are using, I would welcome your input!
Don’t want any cookies ever?
While I’d love to offer a cookie-free version of our site, it’s just little old author me and simply I don’t have the resources to provide and maintain one. Unfortunately if you are really anti-cookie then there is no option except to not use my 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.