How we use cookies

When delivering services over the internet it is common practice to store small amounts of information on your computer or phone. This information is stored by your web browser in small files called cookies.

A cookie is a text-only string of information that a website transfers to the cookie file of the browser on your computer’s hard disk so that a website can remember who you are. A cookie will typically contain the name of the domain from which the cookie has come, the “lifetime” of the cookie, and a value, often a randomly generated unique number.

When you visit our website, your browser will receive cookies from our website. Cookies may be used in the following ways:

  • To enable the personalisation features on our website (which give you, for example, the ability to submit deal opportunities to our website. Another example is when requesting information on a deal opportunity your name and details will be automatically completed in the request form if you have registered as a user of the website).

  • To compile anonymous, aggregated statistics that allow us to understand how users use our site and to help us improve the structure of our website. We cannot identify you personally from these statistics.

You can block / remove cookies using your browser. Guidance on how to do this is set out below in the section “Disabling / enabling cookies”.

There are two main types of cookies, first party and third party.

  • First party cookies: these are our own cookies.

  • Third party cookies: these are cookies used by other companies’ tools. The only third party cookies we use are for Google Analytics. These cookies are controlled by them.

Two types of cookies may be used on our website, session cookies, which are temporary and remain in the cookie file of your browser until you leave the site, and persistent cookies, which remain in the cookie file of your browser for much longer.

Our web content management software predates the EU Cookies Law and sets cookies in your browser as part of its default behaviour. The names and functions of these cookies are as follows:

exp_last_visit
Non essential cookie which records the time and date of your last visit, which will be today. Although it is set for all visitors, it only supports functions for logged in users. It will expire automatically in a year. If not set, is automatically set to 10 years ago. Affects guests and logged in users.

exp_last_activity
This cookie records the date and time of your last visit to our site prior to current visit. If this is your first visit, the date and time set will be the same as exp_last_visit. It will expire automatically in a year. Used to determine expiry. This is essential for logged in users, but not for guests – it is set for both.

exp_tracker
Essential cookie which is required to direct user back to previous page after completing activity e.g. log in/out, complete form, etc.

exp_expiration
This cookie determines the length of the session for a logged in user. There are two options for this cookie: if the user has selected “remember me” then it is set to 1 year, and if not then it’s set to the datetime that the user logged in. Used only for logged in members. This keeps the “remember me” user logged in for a year unless they choose to log out (and then the cookie is deleted).

exp_uniqueid
This cookie is created when a registered user logs into the website. Matches the unique_id field in the exp_members table. Randomly generated by the FNS class at registration. Used only for logged in members.

exp_userhash
This cookie stores the encrypted password of the currently logged in user. Used only for logged in members.

exp_anon
This cookie is created when a registered user logs into the website.

exp_mode
This cookie is created when a registered user logs into the website.

exp_perpage
This cookie is created when a registered user logs into the website.

We cannot prevent these cookies from being set by default without compromising the function of our website content management system. We are looking into upgrading this system to one which prevents cookies being set until the user explicitly gives permission for this to happen.

In addition to the above, our use of Google Analytics sets the following cookies:
__utma Used by Google Analytics to identify unique visitors v returning visitors.
__utmb Used by Google Analytics for generally visitor tracking. Takes a timestamp of the exact moment in time when a visitor enters a site.
__utmc Used by Google Analytics for generally visitor tracking. Takes a timestamp of the exact moment in time when a visitor leaves a site.
__utmz Used by Google Analytics for tracking source visits (i.e. where the user came from).

See Google’s explanation (for a technical audience) of how these are used.

We use Google Analytics to keep an anonymous usage record of how visitors use our website, so we can improve the content and navigation of the website.

Description of Google Analytics software.

Opting out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites.

This website does not store any information that would, on its own, allow us to identify individual users of this service without their permission. Any cookies that may be used by this website are used either solely on a per session basis or to maintain user preferences. Cookies are not shared with any third parties.

Disabling / enabling cookies

You can accept or decline cookies by modifying the settings in your browser. However, you will not be able to use all the interactive features of our website if cookies are disabled.

How to change your cookie settings in Android
How to change your cookie settings in Firefox
How to change your cookie settings in Google Chrome
How to change your cookie settings in Internet Explorer
How to change your cookie settings in Safari (iOS)
How to change your cookie settings in Safari (OS X)