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Cookies

FAQ: Question(s)

Does this site use "cookies" and, if so, why and how?

FAQ: Answer(s)

The short answer is . . .

'Yes, like most 'e-commerce' sites, this website does use cookies.

If you just want to view the text and images published on this website in English, you do NOT need to have cookies enabled in your browser's settings. However, if you want to use the Favourites feature, use the Shopping Cart, log into your account, or use the Google Translate service, you MUST enable first-party cookies.

What are 'Cookies'?

Cookies are small text files that store information on the user's computer when websites are accessed via a web-browser.

What is this website's policy regarding the use of cookies?

The owner of this website has adopted and implemented the following key principles regarding the use of cookies:

  • This website uses first-party cookies for the following purposes:

    • to provide core functionality (e.g. the shopping cart),
    • to improve the user experience (e.g. the 'favourites' feature) and
    • to help the owner manage the site and improve its content.
      (First-party cookies are the cookies set, controlled by and associated with this website.)
  • This website NEVER uses third-party cookies. (As the name suggests, third-party cookies are asociated with other websites.)
  • This website does NOT use cookies (or anything else) to target advertising or other sponsored content at specific users or groups of users.
  • This website does NOT display advertisements or other forms of content hosted on third-party websites with the exception of the following:
    • the flags etc. contained in the Google Translate widget; and
    • the mandatory PayPal 'How it works' block that is displayed on selected e-commerce-related pages.
  • This website does NOT use 'Flash cookies' or other forms of 'Locally Shared Object' (sometimes referred to as 'super-cookies' or 'browser independent cookies').
  • This website does NOT use 'web beacons', 'clear GIFs' or 'web bugs' to track user behaviour.

Do I need to enable cookies to use this website?

This website has been carefully designed to operate on two distinct levels:

  • Level 1: This website can operate as an information-only site, for which cookies may be disabled completely if desired. However, if first-party cookies are disabled:

    1. Some webpages, images and other content may not display or otherwise work correctly on your device / in your browser.
    2. You will NOT be able to use the favourites list or the shopping cart (so you will not be able to purchase anything from this website).
    3. You will NOT be able to log-in (so you will not be able to access previously purchased file-downloads, etc.).
    4. You will NOT be able to use the Google Translate service (to translate the site from English into another language).
  • Level 2: This website can operate as a fully-fledged e-commerce site by selling licences for file-downloads, in which case both JavaScript and first party cookies MUST be enabled.

The following 'first-party' cookies may be set by this website

Cookie name
Affected
feature(s) / page(s)
Reason for use

flag
value = favourites_flag_*

  • Catalogue
  • Favourites
  • Product pages

This cookie is set if a user chooses to add a product to his or her personal 'favourites' list (but see note 1 below).

This cookie is deleted 55 hours after it was last used or when the browser cache is cleared - see note 2 below.

flag
value = item_cart_status_*

  • Catalogue
  • Favourites
  • Product pages
  • Shopping-Cart
  • Checkout & payment pages

This cookie is set if a user chooses to add a product to his or her personal 'shopping cart' (but see note 1 below). It is used to indicate whether or not the displayed item is already in the user's shopping cart.

This cookie is deleted 55 hours after it was last used or when the browser cache is cleared - see note 2 below.

googtrans

  • All pages

This cookie is used to personalise this website by storing the user's preferred language. It is only set if the Google Translate widget (located near the bottom of each page) is used to translate the site from English into a different language.

This cookie records two pieces of data using internationally recognised two-character country codes: the base language of the site (en = English), followed by the language selected by the user - i.e. the language into which the site is currently being translated (e.g. de = German or it = Italian). The information is stored in the form /en/de. If the site is not currently being translated, the cookie is not set. If the site is currently being translated, the cookie is set and it will expire when the user turns off the translation service (by resetting the language to English) or at end of the current browser session.

has_js

  • All pages

When this website is first accessed, the system checks to see if the user's browser has been configured to use the JavaScript (js) programming language and, if it has, the system sets this cookie. JavaScript is used in a variety of ways to improve the efficiency and functionality of websites. This site can - and will - offer a better user experience if JavaScript is enabled. (The 'JavaScript' FAQ explains how and why this website uses JavaScript.)

For most browsers, this cookie is automatically deleted when the current browser session ends.

SESS*

  • Catalogue
  • Favourites
  • Product pages
  • Shopping-Cart
  • Checkout & payment pages
  • User log-in (until log-out)

This cookie contains a randomly generated session identifier that is unique to the current user and the current browsing session. It is set whenever something needs to be 'remembered' from one page to another for an anonymous user: for example, when a store product is added to the user's favourites list and / or shopping cart.

This cookie is also set and used when a user logs-in, so that the user's identity and 'logged-in' status can be 'remembered' and used to grant access to a personalised or otherwise restricted area of the website.

In most browsers, this cookie is automatically deleted when the current browser session ends.

session_api_session

  • Catalogue
  • Favourites
  • Product pages
  • Shopping-Cart
  • Checkout & payment pages

This cookie contains a randomly generated session identifier that is unique to the current user and the current browsing session. It is set whenever something needs to be 'remembered' from one page to another for an anonymous user: for example, when a store product is added to the user's favourites list and / or shopping cart.

This cookie is deleted 55 hours after it was last used or when the browser cache is cleared - see note 2 below.

_ga

_gid

_gat

  • All pages

Like the majority of e-commerce websites, this website uses the Google Analytics service to gather and review anonymised information about when and how the site is used in order to assess:

  • the popularity and usability of this website's content;
  • the effectiveness of this website in retaining the interest of site visitors;
  • the effectiveness of this website's promotions and advertisements; and
  • the effectiveness of this website in attracting return visits.

The Google Analytics service for this website has been configured to use the analytics.js JavaScript library. This uses first-party cookies to store non-personally identifiable information. These first-party cookies are NOT shared across domains. According the "Google Analytics Cookie Usage on Websites" webpage (see external links below):

  • The following first-party cookies MAY be set to facilitate this version of the Google Analytics service:

    • _ga (which has an expiry time of 2 years and is used to distinguish users)
    • _gid (which has an expiry time of 24 hours and is used to distinguish users)
    • _gat (which has an expiry time of 1 minute and is used to throttle the request rate)
  • The information stored in these cookies consists of "an identifier made up of two randomly generated 32-bit numbers (e.g., 12345.67890)".
  • The Google Analytics service is not sent (and does not store) any personal information about the users of this website.

This website began using the Google Analytics service at 16:30 hours (BST) on July 13th, 2017.

_pk_cvar*

_pk_id*

_pk_ref*

_pk_ses*

  • All pages

Prior to 13:00 hours (BST) on July 9th, 2017, this website used the Piwik open-source website analytics software which set tracking cookies to gather information about when and how the site was being accessed and used. All such cookies began with _pk (see left-hand column and note 3 below).

  • _pk_ses* and _pk_cvar* are short-term (or 'session') cookies. They were normally set to expire after half an hour and they were used (in an anonymised manner) to:
    • assess the popularity and usability of this website's content and to
    • assess the effectiveness of this website in retaining the interest of site visitors.
  • _pk_id* and _pk_ref* are long-term (or 'persistent') cookies. They were normally set with expiry periods of up to 6 months and they were used (in an anonymised manner) to
    • assess the effectiveness of this website's promotions and advertisements and to
    • assess the effectiveness of this website in attracting return visits.

These cookies are no longer being set. However, if you visted this website before the date and time given above, the long-term cookies (_pk_id* and _pk_ref*) may already have been set on your computer.

Note 1: For logged-in users, the 'flag' settings are stored in a file stored on this website's server (rather than as a cookie stored on the user's computer) as this allows the selection to be 'remembered' between browsing sessions, even if the user logs-in from a different computer.

Note 2: This delay in expiry (or cookie 'persistence') has been set so that the system can 'remember' the products that a user has flagged as favourites and / or added to his or her shopping cart. The expiry period has been set to 55 hours in order to give users time to think-over a potential purchase for a couple of days (e.g. from early Friday evening to late Sunday evening).

Note 3: The Piwik software was installed on the same server as this website's core content. The analytics data generated by the Piwik software was likewise stored on this website's server. The analytics data was NOT made available to the Piwik organisation. The Piwik software was configured to use server-side IP anonymisation to anonymise the last two bytes of visitors' IP addresses BEFORE the IP addresses were stored. The raw analytics data was aggregated and summarised to provide daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual statistics and other reports essential to the management and development of this website. All such data has now been deleted from the server.

Some first-party cookies may also be set by third-parties while using this website

When customers of this website purchase a file-download license, the payment for that purchase is processed by a third-party, namely PayPal. In order to provide this payment processing service, PayPal may need to set and use first-party cookies when the customer uses the PayPal website. Please note that this part of the checkout / payment process will NOT work if 'first-party' cookies (or JavaScript) are disabled, or if the PayPal cookies are rejected.  Some PayPal cookies are 'persistent' - i.e. they will remain on your computer between sessions unless you have configured your browser to delete them automatically or you delete them manually. The control of (and responsibility for) any PayPal cookies lies entirely with PayPal. For further information regarding PayPal's use of cookies, please use the link provided in the 'External links' section below to view PayPal's Privacy Policy.

Related pages / further reading

For full details of the information that may be obtained and recorded while using this website, plus details of how that information will be stored and used, please refer to the 'Privacy Policy'.

For further information and / or background reading regarding any of the following, please expand the 'External Links' section below and use the links provided:

  • General background reading on the subject of cookies and related technologies.
  • Cookies and privacy information relating to the PayPal service.
  • A brief introduction to the Google Translate and Google Analytics services.