WHAT ARE ‘COOKIES’?
Cookies are small text files which are downloaded to your computer or 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 your user preferences.
Cookies are very useful and do lots of different jobs, helping 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. Where relevant, they might also help to ensure that adverts you see online are relevant to you and your interests.
Cookies can be categorised as session or persistent cookies, depending on how long they are used for:
- Session cookies – only last for the duration of 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 by that cookie. These persistent cookies are activated each time you visit the site where the cookie was generated.
WHICH COOKIES DO DIGITAL TACTICS USE AND WHY?
When you use Digital Tactics’ Websites and Digital Products, the following 5 categories of cookies may be set on your device:
1. ‘Strictly necessary’ cookies
These cookies are essential in helping you to move around Digital Tactics’ Websites and Digital Products and are used in features such as logging in to access secure areas of our websites. Without these cookies, services you have requested cannot be provided.
Examples of these requested services might include:
- Identifying you as being signed in and keeping you signed in during that user session, avoiding the need for you to re-sign in every time you move between pages on our websites on that session.
- Maintaining your game session information, such as scores and progress, when you’re playing our online games.
2. Functional cookies
These cookies allow websites and applications to remember choices you make (such as your user name, language or the region you are in). They provide enhanced, more personal features. The information these cookies collect is usually anonymised which means we can’t identify you personally.
We use these types of cookies to improve your experience on our sites. Some examples of how we do this include:
- Remembering if you’ve been to the site before so that messages intended for first-time users are not displayed to you.
- Remembering when you’ve voted in a poll so we don’t prompt you about this again.
- Restricting the number of times you’ve been shown a particular advertisement. This is sometimes called ‘frequency capping’.
- Supporting social media components, like Facebook, Twitter or Youtube widgets.
3. Analytics cookies
In order to keep our Websites and Digital Products relevant, easy to use and up-to-date, we use web analytics services. They help us to understand how people use our products. For example, we can see which parts of our websites are most popular or identify errors when they occur.
These web analytics services may be designed and operated by other companies on our behalf. They do this using small invisible images known as “web beacons” or “tracking pixels”, included within the Digital Product and are used to count the number of times something has been seen.
4. Targeting cookies
From time to time we may also use ‘Targeting cookies’. These assist in advertising in the following ways:
- They may be placed on your device by our third party service providers which remember that you have visited our website. This is in order to provide you with targeted adverts more relevant to you and your interests. This is often called online behavioural advertising (OBA) and is done by grouping together interests based on experience of web browsing activity. Adverts may then be displayed to you on our websites, and others not controlled by us, which match these interests.
- Personalised retargeting is another form of OBA. It enables our advertiser partners to show you adverts based on your browsing activity away from our websites. For example, if you visited the website of a travel company you may start seeing adverts from the same company informing you of their special offers or displaying similar products to those you were browsing. This allows companies to advertise online directly to their customers. Without these cookies online advertisements you encounter would be less relevant to you and your interests.
These cookies will usually be used by third-party networks, such as Google’s Adsense and Doubleclick. A list of our main advertising network partners is set out below.
If you would like more information about OBA, including how to opt-out of these cookies, please visit www.youronlinechoices.com/uk.
5. Other third party cookies
On some pages of our websites you may notice that cookies have been used that are not related to Digital Tactics or our authorised providers. When you visit a page with content embedded from YouTube or Facebook for example, these service providers may use their own cookies.
These cookies may be used by a third party to track the success of their application or customise their application to you.
Digital Tactics cannot access these cookies and you should check the third party’s websites for more information about them.
HOW TO CONTROL YOUR COOKIES
There are various ways that you can control and manage your cookies which are discussed in a bit more detail below.
Please remember that any settings you change will not just affect Digital Tactics’ 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 your preferences might be lost if you delete all cookies. Coincidentally, this may include where you have opted out from cookies as this can require an opt-out cookie to be used. Also, if you block cookies completely many websites will not work properly and some functionality may not work at all.
Managing Third Party Cookies
If you are primarily concerned about third party cookies generated by advertisers, you can turn these off separately. This is discussed in more detail below but the links below will take you to the ‘Help’ sections for each of the major browsers and allow you to find out more about how to manage your cookies.
Managing analytics cookies
It is possible to opt out of having your anonymised browsing activity within websites recorded by analytics cookies. You can opt out of the cookies used by any our Analytics providers following the link below.
Please note that this will take you to the relevant third party’s websites and generate a ‘no thanks’ cookie, stopping any further cookies being set by them.
Don’t forget, disabling analytics cookies will stop us from being able to learn what you like or don’t like about our Digital Products and make it harder for us to improve them.
Managing advertising cookies
If you want to opt out from receiving targeted advertising this does not mean that you will receive less advertising when you use our Digital Products, it just means that the advertising you see will not be customised to you.
If you still want to opt out of these third party advertising cookies, you can do this by visiting the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s website www.youronlinechoices.com/uk. Importantly however, this website lists many more networks than those used by Digital Tactics.
We have set out links below to some of the specific partners which we do work with.
Please remember that if you choose to opt out of targeted advertising from a specific company or via www.youronlinechoices.com/uk, it only applies to the web browser on the device you are using. You will therefore need to follow the same process on every device and web browser you use to exercise the same choice.
Managing flash cookies
The most common types of cookies are HTTP cookies. You can control these using the mechanisms described above. As well as HTTP cookies however, there are other technologies which work in a similar way. Currently, the most common of these are Flash Local Stored Objects (LSOs). Some parts of our Digital Products use LSOs. They can be controlled manually by visiting the Adobe website:
LSOs may be used to store user preferences for media player functionality for example. Without them some video content may not play properly.