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How stovesonline.co.uk uses Cookies

So the chaps at the EU, having wrung out all they can from legislating on the size and shape of cucumbers, have now turned their eyes to new pastures, this time towards things called cookies. They sound like another type of food but they are not.

The EU would like websites using cookies (which is nearly all of them) to ask for consent before using them. Problem is that this now means an annoying popup whenever you start to use a new website. There are already too many popups. So now we have little boxes which we will just get into the habit of ticking on every website whether the website is doing something normal, like using cookies to make a shopping cart function, or if they include a Facebook cookie that tracks you wherever the same facebook code is used on other websites. I have tried to make it all as easy to understand as possible and with as little use of jargon as possible.

A few explanations and definitions

So what are Cookies anyway?

Cookies are small text files which are stored on your computer. They are stored on your computer by websites to do various useful tasks. You can find out lots more about cookies here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTTP_cookie Wikipedia uses quite a few cookies - if you want to see which ones then read the last paragraph on this page.

You will need to know what a Browser is

A browser is the software which you use to surf the internet. That might be Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, Opera, etc.

What does 'we' mean?

When I write things like 'how do we use cookies' the 'we' means this website, which you are currently reading from, and of course we also refers to our business - which runs this website.

How do we use cookies?

We use cookies for managing Sessions

Cookies are really useful for keeping track of what is called a 'Session'. A session is how we know that you are you - which helps with shopping carts, logging in, etc.

Shopping carts

So for example when you add, say, one a moisture meters to the shopping cart it is a little cookie on your computer which tells our website 'hi website, I have something in my shopping cart from a few hours ago, please can you go and look it up for me and display the right stuff on the screen for me. Please don't display someone else's cart to me, and please don't forget that I have something in my cart'. This cookie is just a reference to your cart (a number), not a reference to personal private information.

If you log in somewhere on the site with a username and password then we would use a Session to let us know that you are logged in - which stops you putting in your username and password on every page which would be dead annoying.

Identifying that you have an existing reference on our system

We may also use a very simple cookie when you contact us so that we know you have done so already and, instead of making multiple references for you our systems can amalgamate everything under your original reference.

Site Analytics

We use cookies to help with site analytics - so tracking website hits, visits, etc. The actual cookie is just a simple number, not part of your personal information and analytics is mainly the gathering of information on average site hits and visits to see how people use our website - we are not really gathering information about your specific visit, who you are, etc.

We sometimes use Google Analytics. If you would like more information about their privacy and cookie policy then please see: http://www.google.com/analytics/learn/privacy.html

Advertising

We sometimes use advertising cookies. If we have been running Google advert campaigns, and you click on one of the adverts to go through to our site, then the advertising cookies used help us to track how many people are clicking on the adverts - essentially it tells us if they are working or not. The advertising cookie also lets us re-market which means we can show you a little advert on other websites you might visit that are signed up to the advertising program. The great thing about these is that you may have talked to 5 stove suppliers over the time you have spend researching your stove and you might have forgotten who "that friendly lot who really knew their stuff" are. Well these re-marketing ads are simply there to jog your memory. If we want to use the advertising cookie then we explicitely ask you for permission when you visit out site, BEFORE we start using them. If we get a NO from you then obviously we do not use them.

We are using Cookies in a totally normal and honest way

All of these uses of cookies are totally normal and everyday, and most websites you visit will be doing exactly the same. In fact we don't use cookies all that much - a lot of sites you use will have a lot more. We do not share your information with third parties.

Workarounds to cookies

There are workarounds to using cookies to track sessions but they are not elegant! With the workaround the pages you visit on the website would end up being very very long, so long that you would often not really be able to make good sense of them.

Cookies Expire or run out

Our cookies are set to expire and so after a certain amount of time your browser will delete them. This is how your browser is probably set up by default, but it is possible to turn this off in the settings (it is in Firefox anyway).

How to Turn off Cookies

If you are really troubled by cookies you should be able to turn them off in your browser, either totally off, or you may be able to be asked each time a site wants to store one whether you want to allow it or not.

Please be aware: if you just turn them off that lots of shopping carts and things you log in to will probably stop working. If you opt to be asked each time then expect lots of popups - personally I would get tired of these.

This is done differently in each type of browser - just type the heading of this paragraph plus your browser name. An example for Firefox which I use - because it's cool - would be to type in "How to turn off cookies Firefox" into Google. I don't promise that all browsers will give you exactly the options I mention above as I haven't checked them all.

How to view Cookies

You can also view the cookies currently stored on your computer and search through them by the website which they belong to. So to see any cookies on your computer go in to view your cookies and then type in the name of the website which would have made them and they should show up.
This is done differently in each type of browser - just type the heading of this paragraph plus your browser name. An example for Firefox again would be to type in "How to view cookies Firefox" into Google.

You might also be interested in our Privacy Policy




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