Cookies – what they are
Cookies are small files that are stored by your web browser as you use the web. They are designed to hold a tiny amount of data to allow websites to do things like remember your settings, whether you are logged in or not or whether you have visited the site before.
Cookies are essential to our sign-in mechanism. They allow the site to remember that you have signed in when browsing around the site. You may need to be signed-in to the site to access some services such as content that is only available to subscribers.
In common with most websites we use a system to measure the amount of traffic to our site. This system is called SiteCatalyst and is provided to us by a company called Adobe.
It allows us to understand things like how many people have viewed our site in a given period, how often people visit and what the most popular types of content are. We use this information to help us improve the site in lots of ways. For example, we may realise something we think is a particularly good bit of content is not being viewed as often as we would expect, we may then decide to make that content more easy to find via the site navigation options.
In most cases the information processed by the SiteCatalyst system is anonymous. However, if you are logged in to the site then in theory we are able to match the information you provided to us when you registered with what you have viewed on the site.
As a media company, advertising is an essential revenue stream for us so we use a system referred to as an “Ad Server” to make our advertising as effective as possible for our advertising clients, whilst being as relevant as possible for our audience.
The Ad Server allows us to do things like:
- Serve ads that are relevant to the content being read. For example, if you are reading an article about digital marketing then ads from digital marketing service suppliers may appear next to the article.
- Ensure that you only see a particular ad a limited number of times each time you visit the site.
- Serve particular ads a limited number of times in total.
- Target ads to your geographic location. So if you are viewing the site in Glasgow we may show you a different set of ads to what someone in London might see.
Third-party Advertising – Some of the ads that we serve are contain code from third-parties. These third-parties may create cookies so that they can understand how many people have seen an ad across all the websites it appeared on. We do not share any of our user information with third-parties so the information they can gather by this mechanism is entirely anonymous and will be viewed at an aggregated rather than an individual level.
Behavioural Targeting – Some of the advertising that appears on this site is “behaviourally targeted”. This means that you may see advertising based on what you have looked at previously on this site or other sites
Social Networks and Sharing Sites
On many pages on this site you will see buttons that allow you to share items of interest through Social Networks such as Facebook and other sites that enable sharing such as Digg.com. These buttons may also create cookies within your browsers.
How to manage cookies
You have several options to allow you to block or delete cookies that are created by this and other websites.
All major browsers allow you to manage the cookies that they accept and store. To find out how to use these options please follow the appropriate link for you browser:
Additional information about the technical aspects of cookies can be found at www.allaboutcookies.org.