Cookies store information in tiny text files on your hard drive or mobile device when you visit certain web pages. These Cookies are then sent back to the originating website on the next visit, or to another website that recognises that cookie. Cookies are useful for example, because they allow a website to recognise a user’s device such as a tablet or mobile phone. Cookies do lots of different jobs, like letting you navigate between pages efficiently, remembering your preferences, and generally improve the user experience.
All of the information collated is completely anonymous, we do not collect or store any personal data via the cookies used.
The Cookies used by us are perfectly safe being stored on your computer and almost all web browsers enable storing them by default. You can, should you choose, disable them from your browser, as well as delete all cookies stored on your computer. To learn how to do this, please click here.
The cookies we use.
The following information gives an overview of the cookies used by the Computer Repair Shop, it tells you the name of the cookie and a description of what the cookie is used for.
1st Party Persistent Cookies
__utma, __utmb, __utmt & __utmz
Google Analytics Concepts
This cookie is associated with Google Universal Analytics – which is a significant update to Google’s more commonly used analytics service. The new service reduces the reliance on cookies in general, and only sets this and one other – _gat, although Google also say data can be collected without setting any cookies. This cookie is used to distinguish unique users by assigning a randomly generated number as a client identifier. It is included in each page request on our site and used to calculate visitor, session and campaign data for the sites analytics reports. By default it is set to expire after 2 years, although this is customisable by website owners.
This cookie is also associated with Google Universal Analytics, according to Google’s documentation it is used to throttle the request rate – limiting the collection of data on high traffic sites. It expires after 10 minutes.
First Party Session Cookies
This is used by the Google Analytics service to enable us to track visitor behaviour as well as measure site performance. It is not used in most sites but is set to enable interoperability with the older version of Google Analytics code known as Urchin. In this older versions this was used in combination with the __utmb cookie to identify new sessions/visits for returning visitors. When used by Google Analytics this is always a Session cookie which is destroyed when the user closes their browser.
3rd party Cookies from .facebook.com
these cookies are created and owned by Facebook.com, which is the world’s largest social networking service. As a third party host provider, it mostly collects data on the interests of it’s users. These cookies are required for the ‘Like’ button found on homepage to work correctly.
This Cookie identifies the browser connecting to Facebook, not the user. Reportedly used to help with security and suspicious login activity.
Contains the browser and a unique user ID combination
__lu and __x-src
Used to manage the login process, remembers user on return visit if they choose to stay logged in.
These cookies collect information about how visitors use a website, for instance which pages visitors go to most often, and if they get error messages from web pages. These cookies don’t collect information that identifies a visitor. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. It is only used to improve how a website works.
First Party Cookies
One of the key attributes of a cookie is its ‘Host’ – this is the domain name of the site that ultimately sets the cookie. Only the host domain can retrieve and read the contents of the cookie once it has been set.
If the hostname is the same as the domain in the browser address bar when it is set or retrieved, then it is a First Party Cookie. First party cookies are only set or retrieved by the website while you are visiting it, so they cannot normally be used to track activity or pass data from one site to another.
Most desktop browsers allow you to see a list of the cookies that have been set – and they will normally be listed by the host domain value.
Third Party Cookies
If the host domain for a cookie is different to the one in the browser bar when it was downloaded, then it is a third party cookie.
They are usually placed in a website via scripts or tags added into the web page. Sometimes these scripts will also bring additional functionality to the site, such as enabling content to be shared via social networks.
For example, if you visit a site that has a YouTube video in one of its pages. This has been included by the website owner, using a piece of code provided by YouTube. YouTube will then be able to set cookies through this code, and know that you have watched that video, or even just visited the page the video is in.
As the name suggests, this type of cookie is saved on your computer so that when you close it down and start it up again, it can still be there.
Persistent cookies are created by giving them an expiry date. If that expiry date is reached, it will be destroyed by the computer. If the expiry date is not set then it is automatically a session cookie.
The expiry date will normally be saved as the time the cookie was first created plus a number of seconds, determined by the programmer who wrote the code for the cookie. However, there is no real limit on the expiry date – so it could be set to be 20 years in the future. In addition, if you revisit the website that served up the cookie, it may automatically place an updated version on your computer – with a revised future expiry date.
If you login into a website, then shutdown your computer, start it up again, and go back to the website to find you are still logged in – then it is using a persistent cookie to remember you.
Persistent cookies are also used to track visitor behaviour as you move around a site, and this data is used to try and understand what people do and don’t like about a site so it can be improved. This practice is known as Web Analytics. Since Google started providing its own analytics technology free of charge to website owners, almost all websites use some form of it – although there are also paid-for services available to rival Google’s.
Analytics cookies are probably the most common form of persistent cookies in use today. However, persistent cookies can also, oddly, have a shorter life span than some session cookies, as they can be coded to be destroyed within a second or two of being set, whereas a session cookie will always last until you close down your browser.
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 help measure the effectiveness of the advertising campaign.
They are usually placed by advertising networks with the website operator’s permission. They remember that you have visited a website and this information is shared with other organisations such as advertisers. Quite often targeting or advertising cookies will be linked to site functionality provided by the other organisation.