We're sorry about having to show you another annoying popup whenever you start to use our website, but we have to to get your permission to use a thing called a cookie.
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?
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.
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.
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
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.
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.