Cookie Policy

 

So, what are cookies?

Cookies are very small files that transfer from server-side to your computer whenever you visit our website (and nearly all others too). 

Some of them stay on your computer after you have stopped browsing our site (persistent cookies, like the ones that handle ‘Remember Me’ type forms) and some are temporary and deleted after you leave the site or a set period of time afterwards (such as those that enable ‘Recently viewed items’).

Accepting a cookie cannot give a server access to your computer or any of the personal on your computer, apart from information that you may have given the server in order to use the site or make a purchase.

Physically, they are small text files of numbers and letters.  They are not executable and cannot contain virus – they are no risk.

The server you visit has access to the file, but cannot access any other cookies generated by other servers and sites.

 

What do we use them for?

Essentially, some are necessary for the function of the site, such as those created when you add products to your basket or wish-list, or when you ask the site to remember your preferences. 

Others are used to enable us to analyse how the site is being used so we can always look to improve it.

We never (and frankly, can’t) use the data we collect to somehow link it to a personal account so we know which of our actual customers relate to what web activity.  Although IP addresses may be collected, we do not link an IP address to a customer in our database. In most instances, IP addresses are rotated by ISPs and are therefore not much use to us, even if we wanted to try and use them.

Strictly, we use cookies for monitoring which web pages are popular, which are the most common landing or exit pages, how well the site links to itself, how fast the pages load, which devices and browsers are being used so we can optimise both the content and the user experience and site visitor numbers versus a period.

 

What does a cookie look like?

Something a little bit like this (we didn't say it was exciting):

HTTP/1.0 200 OK

Set-Cookie: LSID=DQAAAK…Eaem_vYg; Path=/accounts; Expires=Wed, 13 Jan 2021 22:23:01 GMT; Secure; HttpOnly

Set-Cookie: HSID=AYQEVn…DKrdst; Domain=.foo.com; Path=/; Expires=Wed, 13 Jan 2021 22:23:01 GMT; HttpOnly

Set-Cookie: SSID=Ap4P…GTEq; Domain=foo.com; Path=/; Expires=Wed, 13 Jan 2021 22:23:01 GMT; Secure; HttpOnly

 

So, which cookies might be stored based on which pages you visit?

Name: sc_is_visitor_unique

Description: A variable to track if a user is a unique visit to the site.


Name: _gid

Description: Tracking variable ID – for Google Analytics

 

Name: _gat

Description: Tracking variable – for Google Analytics

 

Name: _gat – for Google Analytics

Description: Tracking variable, used to throttle request rate

 

Name: _ga – for Google Analytics

Description: Tracking variable to distinguish users

 

Name: vscommerce

Description: VisualSoft variable, maybe used for their tracking or for our admin panel.

 

Name: vs_recently_viewed_products

Description: Tracking variable for customers recently viewed products.
 


Name: VSCategoryGroup

Description: Tracking variable for customers recently viewed category group.

 

Name: VSReferrer

Description: Tracking variable for referring website a customer has come from.

 

Name: VSWishlistId

Description: Tracking variable for tracking a user’s wish list without logging in.

 

Name: VSWishlistToken

Description: Tracking variable security token for tracking a user’s wish list without logging in.

 

Third-party cookies

Name: _hjIncludedInSample

Description: Tracking variable for HotJar.com

 

Name: htsc

Description: Tracking variable for HotJar.com

 

Name: _hssc

Description: Tracking variable for HotJar.com

 

Name:_hssrc

Description: Tracking variable for HotJar.com

 

Name: hubspotutk

Description: Tracking variable for HotJar.com

 

Name: optimizelyBuckets

Description: Tracking variable for HotJar.co

 

Name: optimizelySegments

Description: Tracking variable for HotJar.co

 

Name: _gid

Tracking variable ID – for Google Analytics

 

Name: _gat_

Description: Tracking variable – for Google Analytics used to throttle request rate

 

Name: _gat – for Google Analytics used to throttle request rate

Description: Tracking variable.

 

Name: _ga – for Google Analytics

Description: Tracking variable to distinguish users

 

You can read more about cookies generally here:

http://www.allaboutcookies.org/

 

You can read more about Google Analytics cookie usage here:

https://developers.google.com/analytics/devguides/collection/analyticsjs/cookie-usage

 

And HotJar here:

https://www.hotjar.com/legal/compliance/gdpr-commitment

 

 

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