What are cookies, web beacons and similar technologies
These technologies are essentially small data files placed on your computer, tablet, mobile phone or another device (“collectively, a “device”) that allows us to record information when you visit or interact with our websites, servers, applications, messaging, and other tools. Though often these technologies are generically referred to as “Cookies,” each functions slightly differently, and is better explained below:
Cookies: These are small text files (typically made up of letters and numbers) placed in the memory of your browser or device when you visit a website or view a message. Cookies allow a website to recognize a particular device or browser. There are several types of cookies:
- Session cookies expire at the end of your browser session and allow us to link your actions during that particular browser session.
- Persistent cookies are stored on your device in between browser sessions, allowing us to remember your preferences or actions across multiple sites.
- First-party cookies are those set by a website that is being visited by the user at the time in order to preserve your settings (e.g., while on my site).
- Third-party cookies are placed in your browser by a website or domain, that is not the website or domain that you are currently visiting. If a user visits a website and another entity sets a cookie through that website this would be a third-party cookie.
When you enter a website using cookies, you may be asked to fill out a form providing personal information; like your name, e-mail address, and interests. This information is packaged into a cookie and sent to your browser (Chrome, Firefox, etc.), which then stores the information for later use. The next time you go to the same website, your browser will send the cookie to the server. The message is sent back to the server each time the browser requests a page from the server.
Web beacons: small files (also called “pixels”, “image tags”, or “script tags”) that may be loaded on our sites, applications, and tools, that may work in concert with cookies to identify our users and provide anonymized data on their behaviour.
Similar technologies: Technologies that store information in your browser or device utilizing local shared objects or local storage, such as flash cookies, HTML 5 cookies, and other web application software methods. These technologies can operate across all of your browsers, and in some instances may not be fully managed by your browser and may require management directly through your installed applications or device. We do not use these technologies for storing information to target advertising to you on or off our sites.
What types of cookies, web beacons and similar technologies do we use and why?
Our cookies, web beacons and similar technologies serve various purposes but are generally either necessary or essential to the functioning of our sites, services, applications, tools or messaging, help us to improve the performance of or provide you extra functionality of the same, or help us to serve relevant and targeted advertisements. More specifically:
Strictly Necessary or Essential: ‘Strictly necessary’ or “essential” cookies, web beacons and similar technologies let you move around the website and use essential features like secure areas and shopping baskets. Without these technologies, services you have asked for cannot be provided. Please note that these technologies do not gather any information about you that could be used for marketing or remembering where you’ve been on the internet. Accepting these technologies is a condition of using our sites, services, applications, tools or messaging, so if you prevent these from loading we can’t guarantee your use or how the security therein will perform during your visit.
Performance: ‘Performance’ cookies, web beacons and similar technologies collect information about how you use my website e.g. which pages you visit, and if you experience any errors. These cookies do not collect any information that could identify you and is only used to help us improve how my website works, understand what interests our users and measure how effective my content is by providing anonymous statistics and data regarding how my website is used. Accepting these technologies is a condition of using my sites, services, applications, tools or messaging, so if you prevent these from loading we can’t guarantee your use or how the security therein will perform during your visit.
Functionality: These cookies, web beacons or similar technologies are used to provide services or to remember settings to improve your visit.
Advertising: First or third-party cookies and web beacons may be placed by my sites, applications, or tools, in order to deliver content, including product-related advertisements, relevant to your specific interests on my sites or third-party sites. These technologies allow me to understand how useful my advertisements are, and improve the relevancy of the content delivered to our users.
How to manage, control and delete cookies, web beacons and similar technologies
Internet browsers allow you to change your cookie settings. These settings are usually found in the ‘options’ or ‘preferences’ menu of your internet browser. In order to understand these settings, the following links may be helpful. Otherwise, you should use the ‘Help’ option in your internet browser for more details.
- Cookie settings in Internet Explorer
- Cookie settings in Firefox
- Cookie settings in Chrome
- Cookie settings in Safari
If you wish to withdraw your consent at any time, you will need to delete your cookies using your internet browser settings.