What are cookies?
What do cookies do?
What can be stored in a cookie?
Any text information can be stored in a cookie. Information commonly stored are Session and User IDs, which are set by the server. These look like the following:
UserID A9A3BECE0563982D www.website.com
Can a cookie contain a virus?
No, cookies cannot contain viruses. A cookie is a text file that contains information, whereas a virus is a program (executable code) that must be run (executed) in order to cause harm to your computer. A cookie is not a program and therefore cannot contain a virus, so it is not capable of infecting or causing damage to your computer.
Can a cookie take information from my computer?
No, cookies cannot take information from your computer. A cookie is simply a text file, and it can only hold information added by the website which created it. It is impossible for a cookie to located or withdraw information from your computer. Further, only the website that created the cookie has access to the information stored in it.
Are cookies safe?
Yes, cookies are safe and cannot harm your computer. The information stored in a cookie could be anything however – so if you provide personal information to a website it could be stored in a cookie on your computer by that website for re-use in future. Build Loan does not store any personal information in cookies.
Can I stop websites setting cookies on my computer?
Yes, you can stop websites from setting cookies on your computer by changing the settings on your web browser. Every web browser can be set to prevent websites from storing cookies on your computer. Each web browser is different, so if you are unsure how to do this you should consult your browser’s online help facility by selecting help from the menu on your browser.
Some websites, including PlotSearch, need to set cookies in order to function correctly. You may therefore find that changing the settings on your web browser to prevent cookies being stored may result in you experiencing difficulty using certain websites or only having limited access to them.
Other types of cookies
A web program called Flash is used on some websites, and has the ability to set its own type of cookie on your computer. These are known as Local Stored Objects (LSOs), and work in the same way as normal cookies, by allowing information to be stored on your computer and accessed by Flash. LSOs are often used in advertising banners on websites, where you are shown products that you viewed on your last visit to the advertisers website.
Session cookies are set by the server that the website you are visiting uses. This is because websites are strings of pages that have no ability to ‘remember’ information. Session cookies are used by the server to store information such as your Session ID, so that you won’t be treated as a new visitor when you move between pages on the same website. These cookies are designed to last only as long as your visit to the website, so that as soon as you leave (close) that website they will expire.
First party cookies
First party cookies are cookies which are set by the website you are visiting. For example: you are visiting example1.com, so any cookies set by example1.com are first party cookies.
Third party cookies
Third party cookies are cookies which are set by websites while you are visiting another website. In most cases these are created by advertising on a website. For example: you are visiting example1.com, where you see adverts for another website – example2.com. The website example2.com could set a cookie on your machine while you are visiting example1.com, this would be a third party cookie. All modern browsers have the ability to switch off third party cookies. If you wish to do this, you should refer to your browser’s online help page.
Tracking cookies are used to monitor how you navigate through a website. For instance, many websites use Google Analytics to see how traffic to their website behaves. Google Analytics creates a tracking cookie when you visit a website and records the pages you look at and how long you spend on it.
What cookies do we use?
Build Loan also uses Google Analytics which requires some tracking cookies to be created. These do not hold any personal information, but they do give us information about traffic to our website such as page views and time spent on the website. This information is anonymous and is used to help us identify trends and find out what types of information are of interest to our clients.
Build Loan also uses an affiliate scheme – you may have entered the website via one of our affiliates if you clicked on a Build Loan link on another website. The affiliate scheme allows us to reward our affiliates for directing clients to our website. This requires the affiliate system to set a tracking cookie on your machine telling us which affiliate has directed you to the Build Loan website. This tracking cookie does not record any personal information about you, it simply treats you anonymously as a numbered user.