Dr Dave talks... cookies

Dr Dave talks... cookies


What are those cookie pop-up thingy-ma-jigs and what do they really mean?

We discuss the Cookie Law with The Real Adventure Unlimited's resident Data Protection Expert, Dave Wonnacott (AKA Dr Dave – he's got a PhD in Astrophysics, don't you know?).

If you already know what cookies are, and just want to know which are used on this site, take a look at our cookie list.

What are cookies?

The myth

Irritating little gremlins in the computer that spy on you, slow down your machine and record everything you do to someday use against you.

The truth

Teeny-tiny text files that hardly take up any space on your computer; make your browsing smoother and quicker, and help make your web experience more streamlined and personalised.

Viewed in your browser, they look a little like this:

HMP1 1 hotmail.msn.com/ 0 1715191808 32107852 1236821008 29449527 *

Yes, they are harmless, but it’s still your data

…and the way it’s used still affects you.

When the Cookie Law came in, back in 2011, it required that every site using cookies should get consent from visitors to store or retrieve any information on a computer, smartphone or tablet. But there’s another part to the law that many websites and organisations are ignoring.

The Cookie Law was supposed to help educate web users about how their data was being used. That way, they had the power to decide whether they wanted it used in that way. But in reality it’s an easy-to-implement, box-ticking exercise that people just ignore.

So how are cookies and your data being used?

There are three main types of cookie:

Session cookies for essential website functionality

  • Remember who you are from page to page within a website
  • Stop you having to re-enter information between pages when browsing
  • Are never saved beyond the session

Persistent or tracking cookies for useful website functionality

  • Have an expiry date on them – as long or short as the creator wishes
  • Recall information every time you visit a site
  • Remember your preferences for menus, language, layout and in-site bookmarks
  • Automatically log you in to web accounts for new sessions (so you don’t have to remember your username and password every time)
  • Remember what’s in your basket, even when you leave the site
  • Can be used to record info about your browsing habits over an extended period

Third-party cookies for advertisers

  • Are affiliated with an advertisement on a website – like a banner ad
  • Are linked to a different domain to the one you are visiting
  • Are used by advertisers to build up a picture of your browsing habits to send you more targeted advertising

This third type of cookie is usually quite easy to eliminate from your browser if you take a look in your browser settings. Particularly handy if you share a computer with someone you’re buying a pressie for. You don’t want it showing up in their Facebook sponsored ads because of third-party cookies!

Who reads the small print anyway?

As consumers we tend to have a fairly lax approach to privacy, and though cookies will never have access to our deepest darkest secrets, it’s a good idea to know what you’re sharing and with whom.

It’s down to businesses, organisations and websites to be upfront, honest and transparent about cookies – to provide all the information in a way that encourages the user to understand it. Only by doing this can we all genuinely comply with the spirit of the Cookie Law.

At the end of the day, it’s a win/win

Whichever way you look at it, cookies offer a win/win. You get a smoother browsing experience and a better, more personalised service, whilst businesses get information to help them connect with you.

And just remember, at the end of the day, it’s you who’s holding the reins.

Our cookie list

The aim of this cookie list is to help you recognise the cookies placed on your browser when you visit us and is current as of 28th June 2016.

We have tried to cover all the cookies which we, or our technology partners, use but please bear in mind that sometimes there may be a short delay in updating this list. If you do notice a discrepancy, or think a cookie is missing, please let us know via cookies@realadventure.co.uk.

These are the cookies you may encounter on http://www.realadventure.co.uk/

Cookie Name: ChannelID
Description: Google advertising channel [1]
System: ajax.googleapis.com
Expiry:

Cookie Name: ChannelID
Description: Google advertising channel [1]
System: doubleclick.net
Expiry:

Cookie Name: test_cookie
Description: Non-tracking
System: doubleclick.net 
Expiry: < 1 hour

Cookie Name: ChannelID
Description: Google advertising channel [1]
System: google-analytics.com
Expiry:

Cookie Name: ChannelID
Description: Google advertising channel [1]
System: google.com
Expiry:

Cookie Name: ChannelID
Description: Google advertising channel [1]
System: googleadservices.com
Expiry:

Cookie Name: ChannelID
Description: Google advertising channel [1]
System: googlesyndication.com
Expiry:

Cookie Name: ChannelID
Description: Google advertising channel [1]
System: googletagservices.com
Expiry:

Cookie Name: JSESSIONID
Description: New Relic marketing tracking cookie
System: nr-data.net
Expiry: Session

Cookie Name: _ga
Description: Unique user identification (not personal) [1]
System: realadventure.co.uk
Expiry: 2 years

Cookie Name: _gat
Description: This cookie does not store any user information; it's just used to limit the number of requests that have to be made to doubleclick.net
System: realadventure.co.uk
Expiry: < 1 hour

Cookie Name: UID
Description: Scorecard Research doesn’t specify the content of their cookies, but they will be tracking cookies designed to provide market research on your website activity
System: scorecardresearch.com 
Expiry: 2 years

Cookie Name: UIDR
Description: Scorecard Research doesn’t specify the content of their cookies, but they will be tracking cookies designed to provide market research on your website activity
System: scorecardresearch.com 
Expiry: 2 years

Cookie Name: __gads
Description: It serves purposes such as measuring interactions with the ads on that domain and preventing the same ads from being shown to you too many times
System: ted.com
Expiry: 2 years

Cookie Name: _ga
Description: Unique user identification (not personal)
System: ted.com
Expiry: 2 years

Cookie Name: _gat
Description: This cookie does not store any user information; it's just used to limit the number of requests that have to be made to doubleclick.net
System: ted.com
Expiry: < 1 hour

Cookie Name: Local storage
Description:
System: ted.com
Expiry:

Cookie Name: pid
Description: Twitter describes the functions of its cookies and provides an opt-out here [2]
System: twitter.com 
Expiry: 18 months

Cookie Name: lang
Description: Twitter describes the functions of its cookies and provides an opt-out here [2]
System: twitter.com
Expiry: Session

Cookie Name: metrics_token
Description: Twitter describes the functions of its cookies and provides an opt-out here [2]
System: twitter.com
Expiry: 2 weeks

Cookie Name: PREF
Description: This cookie may be used by YouTube (owned by Google) to store session preferences that relate to your activity when watching the embedded videos, but doesn’t gather information that identifies a user [1]
System: youtube.com 
Expiry: 7 months

Cookie Name: VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE
Description: The VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE cookie attempts to estimate your bandwidth and doesn’t gather information that identifies a user
System: youtube.com 
Expiry: 7 months

Cookie Name: YSC
Description: These cookies are used to deliver adverts more relevant to you and your interests. They are also used to limit the number of times you see an advertisement as well as to help measure the effectiveness of the advertising campaign
System: youtube.com 
Expiry: Session

Cookie Name: ChannelID
Description: Google advertising channel
System: youtube.com 
Expiry:

Cookie Name: Local storage
Description: Google advertising channel
System: youtube.com
Expiry:

Cookie Name: ChannelID
Description: Google advertising channel
System: ytimg.com
Expiry:

ChannelIDs are encrypted cookies designed to preserve user privacy. They may or may not be tracking cookies. Local storage is a unencrypted cookie but is written to a different part of your hard drive to normal cookies, and is usually associated with an application plug-in.

[1] Google Analytics' privacy policy – http://www.google.com/intl/None/policies/privacy/
[2] Twitter's cookie information – https://support.twitter.com/articles/20170514-twitters-use-of-cookies-and-similar-technologies

 

How to unset or clear cookies in most browsers

Cookies are just small files of data that websites can write to your computer (via your browser) for any number of legitimate purposes, and the law now gives you the choice and the responsibility to decide which sites may and may not use which cookies. To help you manage your cookies efficiently, all browsers provide you with tools to control your cookies, allowing you to keep them (permanently or for some duration) or delete them entirely.

We, at The Real Adventure Unlimited, recommend the 'All About Cookies' website, published by an independent body, as a good source of information about cookies and how you may best organise yours. In particular, these pages:

Controlling your cookies: http://www.aboutcookies.org/Default.aspx?page=1
Deleting your cookies: http://www.aboutcookies.org/Default.aspx?page=2

There are, of course, many other websites providing similar information which you may choose to consult as well.

On a mobile device, the built-in browsers can be cleared as follows:

Android:
(enable/disable) http://timeread.hubpages.com/hub/How-to-disable-or-enable-cookies-on-a-Droid-or-any-Android-device
(delete) http://timeread.hubpages.com/hub/How-to-delete-internet-cookies-on-your-Droid-or-any-Android-device

Safari:
http://browsers.about.com/od/howtousemobilebrowser1/ss/How-To-Manage-Private-Data-Components-In-Safari-For-Iphone.htm

If you have installed a mobile version of any other browser (e.g. Firefox or Opera), it is likely that, as far as cookie control is concerned, these will operate in the same way as their desktop counterparts.