Cookies: Frequently Asked Questions & How Does The Pub History Society use them?
What is a cookie?
A cookie is a piece of information in the form of a very small text file
that is placed on an internet user's hard drive. It is generated by a
web page server, which is basically the computer that operates a web
site. The information the cookie contains is set by the server and it
can be used by that server whenever the user visits the site. A cookie
can be thought of as an internet user's identification card, which tell
a web site when the user has returned.
What does a cookie look like?
Below is the content of a typical cookie. This one is from the
Hotmail service and has the filename firstname.lastname@example.org (.txt is
the standard filename extension for text files):
HMP1 1 hotmail.msn.com/ 0 1715191808
32107852 1236821008 29449527 *
The codes will only make sense to Microsoft's MSN Hotmail servers.
History of cookies
Cookies for the internet were originally developed in 1995 by the
Netscape Communications Corporation. The word 'cookie' comes from 'magic
cookie,' a term in programming languages for a piece of information
shared between co-operating pieces of software. The choice of the word
cookie appears to come from the American tradition of giving and sharing
What is the purpose of cookies?
Cookies make the interaction between users and web sites faster and
easier. Without cookies, it would be very difficult for a web site
to allow a visitor to fill up a shopping cart or to remember the
user's preferences or registration details for a future visit.
browsing experience more efficient and enjoyable. Web sites often
about their users.
Cookies enable web sites to monitor their users' web surfing habits
and profile them for marketing purposes (for example, to find out
which products or services they are interested in and send them
Are there different types of cookies?
Yes there are a number of different Cookies:
Session, or transient cookies
Cookies that are stored in the computer's memory only during a user's
browsing session and are automatically deleted from the user's computer
when the browser is closed.
These cookies usually store a session ID that is not personally
identifiable to users, allowing the user to move from page to page
without having to log-in repeatedly. They are widely used by commercial
web sites (for example, to keep track of items that a consumer has added
to a shopping cart).
Session cookies are never written on the hard drive and they do not
collect any information from the user's computer. Session cookies expire
at the end of the user's browser session and can also become no longer
accessible after the session has been inactive for a specified length of
time, usually 20 minutes.
Permanent, persistent, or stored cookies
Cookies that are stored on the user's computer and are not deleted when
the browser is closed. Permanent cookies can retain user preferences for
a particular web site, allowing those preferences to be used in future
Permanent cookies can be used to identify individual users, so they may
be used by web sites to analyse users' surfing behaviour within the web
site. These cookies can also be used to provide information about
numbers of visitors, the average time spent on a particular page and
generally the performance of the web site. They are usually configured
to keep track of users for a prolonged period of time, in some cases
many years into the future.
If you have Adobe Flash installed on your computer (most computers do),
small files may be stored on your computer by websites that contain
Flash media, such as video clips. These files are known as Local Shared
Objects (LSOs) or Flash cookies. They can be used for the same purposes
as regular cookies (properly called HTTP cookies).
Flash cookies can also back up the data that is stored in a regular
cookie. When you delete cookies using your browser controls, your Flash
cookies are not affected. So a website that served a cookie to you may
recognise you on your next visit if it backed up its now-deleted cookie
data to a Flash cookie.
You can control Flash cookies. Adobe's website offers tools to control
Flash cookies on your computer and users of the Firefox browser can also
get an add-on to detect and delete Flash cookies.
Are cookies dangerous?
No. Cookies are small pieces of text. They are not computer
programs, and they can't be executed as code. Also, they cannot be
used to disseminate viruses, and modern versions of both Microsoft
Internet Explorer and Netscape browsers allow users to set their own
limitations to the number of cookies saved on their hard drives.
The Pub History Society (PHS) uses and third party Statistic Counter (StatCounter). This cookie monitors the visitor use of the PHS web site. It shows where you came from i.e. a Google search or link from another site. It shows what pages you have viewed and if you have downloaded and of the FREE information PDF’s on the site.
The PHS social media sites, Facebook have their own cookies by default. Cookie Information from these sites is not used by the PHS.
How is this information used?
The StatCounter allows the PHS to see if you are landing on the most appropriate page for your search and gives a basic feedback on new and returning visitors. It also gives an indication of your graphical location however is doesn’t us who you are.
Social Media Cookies form a part of the social media accounts. By having your own Social Media account you are agreeing to the social media terms and conditions. The PHS does use a separate tracking counter for the use of their members area accounts..
If you are a member of the PHS then a session cookies are used to verify you're login and will allow you to view the member’s area content. If you block cookies then you may need to make the PHS to adjust your browser setting to allow cookies to full use the PHS website.
Does The Pub History Society sell cookie information?
NO! Please be assured that information from the StatCounter and the PHS members area is for
the PHS use only and the information it provides is not sold or
seen by others.
Can I block cookies from this site?
The simple answer is yes. There is a number of things you can do.
Firstly you can view your own PC setting internet option and browser
setting. The internet options setting can be found on Windows PCís by
going to the Control panel / internet options. Select Privacy / Advanced
and you can then change the Cookies from the general default to accept
to Prompt. If however you are a PHS member then to access the PHS members area you must accept cookies for this site to view the members area content otherwise you may not be able to login.
The PHS uses StatCounter to record viewer visits and changing your
setting you can block many programs like this. Websites donít have to
display hit rates but that doesnít mean that they are not running a
StatCounter in the background. If you feel you would like to remove you
PC from being recorded by StatCounter you can by following this link
More information about Cookies and how and why they are used can be
found here: Aboutcookies.org
New EU cookie law (e-Privacy Directive) Information Commissioners Office