This page explains what cookies are, how we use them, and how you can control them.
What are ‘cookies’?
Cookies are small text files which are downloaded to your computer or mobile device when you visit a website or application. Your web browser (such as Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome) then sends these cookies back to the website or application on each subsequent visit so that they can recognise you and remember things like personalised details or user preferences.
Cookies are very useful and do lots of different jobs which help to make your experience on websites as smooth as possible. For example, they let you move between web pages efficiently, remembering your preferences, and generally improving your experience. They can also help to ensure that adverts you see online are more relevant to you and your interests.
They are referred to as session or persistent cookies, depending on how long they are used:
- Session cookies only last for your online session and disappear from your computer or device when you close your browser.
- Persistent cookies stay on your computer or device after the browser has been closed and last for the period of time specified in the cookie. These persistent cookies are activated each time you visit the site where the cookie was generated.
- Registered Users need a cookie to be able to log in. This is ‘strictly necessary’ as WordPress won’t work without it.
- Visitors who submit a comment on a blog post will also have a cookie set on their computer. This is not ‘strictly necessary’ as it’s a user preference.
In order to keep our website relevant, easy to use and up-to-date, we use web analytics services to help us understand how people use it. For example, we can see how many people have visited the website in a specific period, from which countries (based on IP address), and which pages or blog posts are the most popular.
Again, these cookies do not identify you directly as they do not collect information such as your name or email address. However, the information collected by these cookies will be linked to a unique user identifier code.
Third party cookies
Get Up to Speed uses third-party software for statistics on our website usage, advertising and for social media plugin functionality. A list of these and their relevant privacy policies are listed below:
- Analytics. We use Clicky Analytics for general website statistics. https://clicky.com/terms
- Amazon. We have an Amazon Associates account we use for Amazon ads on the site, including banner ads and product links. https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html
- Google. We have a Google AdSense account, which may be used to place ads on the site. We also use Feedburner, a Google service, to email latest blog posts to anyone who chooses to subscribe to our blog feed this way. There is a signup form on the website, provided by Feedburner. https://policies.google.com/privacy?hl=en
- Facebook. We use the Facebook Like box in the sidebar, and buttons on blog posts. We do not provide an option for you to sign in via Facebook. http://www.facebook.com/about/privacy/
- Twitter. Latest tweets are loaded from Twitter in the sidebar. We use ‘Tweet this’ buttons on blog posts. http://twitter.com/privacy
- Shareaholic. There are ‘social bookmarking buttons’ at the end of blog posts and pages, which enable you to ‘Tweet this’, Share on Facebook’ etc. This functionality is provided by a WordPress plugin created by Shareaholic. https://shareaholic.com/privacy/
- MailChimp. We normally just use email signup forms hosted by MailChimp, and link to them from the Get Up to Speed website. But we may on occasion embed signup forms on the site, or use ‘pop-up’ forms. https://mailchimp.com/legal/cookies/
- Cookie preferences. Our Cookie opt-in/opt-out function is provided by a WordPress plugin, and requires cookies to work (i.e. to remember your cookie preferences). Ironically, if you delete cookies, it will no longer remember your choice.
How to control your cookies
However, there are various ways that you can control and manage your cookies. Please remember that any settings you change will not just affect Get Up to Speed cookies. These changes will apply to all websites that you visit (unless you choose to block cookies from particular sites).
Managing cookies in your browser
Most modern browsers will allow you to:
- See what cookies you’ve got and delete them on an individual basis
- Block third party cookies
- Block cookies from particular sites
- Block all cookies from being set
- Delete all cookies when you close your browser.
You should be aware that any preferences will be lost if you delete cookies. Ironically, this includes where you have opted out from cookies, as this requires an opt-out cookie to be set. Also, if you block cookies completely many websites will not work properly and some functionality on these websites will not work at all. We do not recommend turning cookies off when using Get Up to Speed for these reasons.
If you are primarily concerned about third party cookies generated by advertisers, you can turn these off separately. Most advertising networks offer you a way to opt out of Interest Based Advertising. If you would like to find out more information, please visit http://www.aboutads.info/choices/ or http://www.youronlinechoices.com.
The links below take you to the ‘Help’ sections for each of the major browsers so that you can find out more about how to manage your cookies.
- Internet Explorer – http://support.microsoft.com/kb/
- Firefox – http://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/Cookies
- Google Chrome – http://support.google.com/chrome/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=95647
- Opera – http://www.opera.com/browser/tutorials/security/privacy/
- Safari – https://www.apple.com/legal/privacy/em-ww/cookies
- Safari iOS – https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201265
- Android – http://support.google.com/chrome/answer/2392971?hl=en-GB
- Blackberry – http://uk.blackberry.com/legal/privacy-policy.html#types-info-d
- Windows Phone – http://www.microsoft.com/windowsphone/en-us/howto/wp7/web/changing-privacy-and-other-browser-settings.aspx