We store small text files called cookies on your computer so that you get the most out of the site and we can improve your experience for your next visit. If you continue exploring our site, we'll assume you're happy with this.
What is a cookie?
Put simply, cookies help a website to remember you. They’re small files of letters and numbers that a website transfers to a file on your computer or mobile device.
Without cookies, a website will always think you’re a new visitor every time you move to a new page on the site. Cookies make interacting with a website faster and easier.
Cookies also enable website owners to tailor the content to visitors’ needs. And they do all this without storing any information that can identify you personally.
- _utma: This cookie is typically written to the browser upon the first visit to the site from that web browser. If the cookie has been deleted by the browser operator, and the browser subsequently visits your site, a new __utma cookie is written with a different unique ID. This cookie is used to determine unique visitors to the site and it is updated with each page view. Additionally, this cookie is provided with a unique ID that Google Analytics uses to ensure both the validity and accessibility of the cookie as an extra security measure.
- _utmb: This cookie is used to establish and continue a user session with the site. When a user views a page on the site, the Google Analytics code attempts to update this cookie. If it does not find the cookie, a new one is written and a new session is established. Each time a user visits a different page on the site, this cookie is updated to expire in 30 minutes, thus continuing a single session for as long as user activity continues within 30-minute intervals. This cookie expires when a user pauses on a page on the site for longer than 30 minutes. Expiry 2 years from set/update
- _utmc: This cookie is no longer used by the Google Analytics ga.js tracking code to determine session status.
Historically, this cookie operated in conjunction with the __utmb cookie to determine whether or not to establish a new session for the user. For backwards compatibility purposes with sites still using the urchin.js tracking code, this cookie will continue to be written and will expire when the user exits the browser. Expiry 30 minutes from set/update
- _utmz: This cookie stores the type of referral used by the visitor to reach the site, whether via a direct method, a referring link, a website search, or a campaign such as an ad or an email link. It is used to calculate search engine traffic, ad campaigns and page navigation within the site. The cookie is updated with each page view to the site. Not set
- msc_last_visit: Sets the datetime that the user last visited the site, and is set for both guests and logged in users. If not set, is automatically set to 10 years ago. Affects guests and logged in users. Expiry 12 months.
- msc_last_activity: Every time the state is updated (the page reloaded) the last activity is set to the current datetime. Used to determine expiry. This is essential for logged in users, but not for guests - it is set for both. Expiry 12 months.
- msc_tracker: Tracks the last 5 pages viewed by the user, and is used primarily for redirection after logging in etc. Affects guests and logged in users. Expiry 12 months.
What to do if you don’t want cookies
If you don’t like the idea of websites storing information in cookies, you can delete cookies that have already been set and stop sites from setting new ones.
Here’s how to do this in different browsers:
You can change your cookie settings in Chrome using the wrench icon on the toolbar. After clicking on the wrench, select ‘settings’, then ‘show advanced settings’, and then the ‘content’ settings button.
You can manage cookie settings in Firefox from the preferences window's privacy panel. To access the preferences window, click on the Firefox menu on the menu bar and select ‘preferences’.
To change your cookie settings in Safari, select ‘preferences’ from the Safari menu and then click ‘privacy’.
You can block cookies in Internet Explorer by clicking the tools button, and then clicking ‘internet options’. To delete cookies, select ‘safety’ from the tools button and then click ‘delete browsing history’.