Cookies in all their glory!

If you’ve come here from my privacy notice then all I can say is that you are very keen!!

This site uses cookies – small text files that are placed on your machine to help the site provide a better user experience. In general, cookies are used to retain user preferences, store information for things like shopping baskets, and provide anonymised tracking data to third party applications like Google Analytics. As a rule, cookies will make your browsing experience better.

You may prefer to disable cookies on this site and on others. The most effective way to do this is to disable cookies in your browser completely. I suggest consulting the help section of your browser or Googling it. (Athough Googling in itself will put cookies on your computer – they are everywhere. Catch 22.)

One of those areas where people are concerned about their privacy is adverts that follow you. One in particular is Facebook adverts: especially after the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Why would I use Facebook tracking at all?

Well let’s say you were a wedding professional wanting to reach couples. Ooooh. I am!

You might want to advertise to couples who are in a certain age range, in a certain location and who had certain interests (like bridal magazines) or who had status set to “engaged”. You can do all of that right inside Facebook. The bride, as a potential recipient of my advert doesn’t even need to come to my website. I won’t know who she is but Facebook can show her my advert.

Magic.

But what if someone visited your website and then went off to visit someone else’s website. Maybe a competitors? Might it be handy to be able to make them an offer or to show them your service in a little advert over on Facebook?

That’s exactly what something called a Facebook Pixel allows. Facebook terms this off-site tracking or “off-Facebook” tracking. It’s very simply targetted advertising.

Facebook gives me a bit of code that puts a single pixel on my website. The moment you land on the page and that pixel loads into your browser it tells Facebook that you’re there. Then I can advertise to people who have visited.

More magic.

As far as I’m concerned it’s all anonymous – I’ve no idea who you are. Facebook knows though.

You can turn this off: you might not want to.

Here’s how you turn it off told to you by the Facebook people themselves.

If you turned off targeted adverts you’ll still get adverts – but they will no longer be as relevant to you.

Think of it like you’re a keen cook. If you got lots of adverts for baking and cooking gadgets and that’s fine. If, however, you turned off tracking you might not see so many of those adverts (you’d see some because of your interests in general) but you might instead see adverts for… I don’t know… motorcycle repair kits. That might not be stuff you want to see. Having the Facebook traking enabled isn’t such a bad idea any more, is it?

If you want to turn that stuff off, head on over to Facebook and turn it off. Personally I’ll leave it very much enabled!

Now in my privacy notice I had official legal template wording that I purchased from lawyer Suzanne Dibble. I’m doing the same here. Brace yourselves.

At least it is shorter this time.

The small print!

COOKIE POLICY

What’s a cookie?

  • A “cookie” is a piece of information that is stored on your computer’s hard drive and which records how you move your way around a website so that, when you revisit that website, it can present tailored options based on the information stored about your last visit. Cookies can also be used to analyse traffic and for advertising and marketing purposes.
  • Cookies are used by nearly all websites and do not harm your system.

If you want to check or change what types of cookies you accept, this can usually be altered within your browser settings. You can block cookies at any time by activating the setting on your browser that allows you to refuse the setting of all or some cookies. However, if you use your browser settings to block all cookies (including essential cookies) you may not be able to access all or parts of our site.

How do we use cookies?

  • We use cookies to track your use of our website. This enables us to understand how you use the site and track any patterns with regards how you are using our website. This helps us to develop and improve our website as well as products and / or services in response to what you might need or want.
  • Cookies are either:

– Session cookies: these are only stored on your computer during your web session and are automatically deleted when you close your browser – they usually store an anonymous session ID allowing you to browse a website without having to log in to each page but they do not collect any personal data from your computer; or

– Persistent cookies: a persistent cookie is stored as a file on your computer and it remains there when you close your web browser. The cookie can be read by the website that created it when you visit that website again. [We use persistent cookies for Google Analytics.]

  • Cookies can also be categorised as follows:

– Strictly necessary cookies: These cookies are essential to enable you to use the website effectively, such as when buying a product and / or service, and therefore cannot be turned off. Without these cookies, the services available to you on our website cannot be provided. These cookies do not gather information about you that could be used for marketing or remembering where you have been on the internet.

– Performance cookies: These cookies enable us to monitor and improve the performance of our website. For example, they allow us to count visits, identify traffic sources and see which parts of the site are most popular.

– Functionality cookies: These cookies allow our website to remember choices you make and provide enhanced features. For instance, we may be able to provide you with news or updates relevant to the services you use. They may also be used to provide services you have requested such as viewing a video or commenting on a blog. The information these cookies collect is usually anonymised.