A cookie is a small text file that is downloaded onto your computer when you visit certain websites and allows a website to recognise a user’s computer. Cookies are used to help users navigate websites more efficiently and to perform certain functions, as well as to provide information to the owners of the website.
Below is a list of the cookies used by this website and provides a description of how each cookie works.
- Google Analytics (utmz, utma, utmb, utmc)
This website uses Google Analytics, a web analytics service provided by Google, Inc. Google Analytics sets a cookie in order to evaluate your use of our website and compile reports for us on activity of our website.
- Back to list links (search)
- Only lasts for the current browsing session. Records the last property list the user viewed.
Restricting or deleting cookies
The cookies we use are essential for parts of the website to operate, and some may have already been set. You may delete and block all cookies from this website, but please be aware that restricting or deleting cookies may impact on the functionality of the website. Your web browser may allow you to restrict or delete cookies set by this website. The Help function within your browser should tell you how.
Standard uses for browser cookies
Website servers set cookies to help authenticate the user if the user logs in to a secure area of the website. Login information is stored in a cookie, so the user can enter and leave the website without having to re-enter the same authentication information over and over.
Session Cookies are also used by the server to store information about user page activities so users can easily pick up where they left off on the server’s pages. By default, web pages really don’t have any ‘memory’. Cookies tell the server what pages to show the user so the user doesn’t have to remember or start navigating the site all over again. Cookies act as a sort of “bookmark” within the site. Similarly, cookies can store ordering information needed to make shopping carts work instead of forcing the user to remember all the items the user put in the shopping cart.
Persistent or tracking Cookies are also employed to store user preferences. Many websites allow the user to customize how information is presented through site layouts or themes. These changes make the site easier to navigate and/or lets user leave a part of the user’s “personality” at the site. For Information on session and persistent and tracking cookies, see here.
Cookie security and privacy issues
Cookies are NOT viruses. Cookies use a plain text format. They are not compiled pieces of code, so they cannot be executed nor are they self-executing. Accordingly, they cannot make copies of themselves and spread to other networks to execute and replicate again. Since they cannot perform these functions, they fall outside the standard virus definition.
Cookies CAN be used for malicious purposes though. Since they store information about a user’s browsing preferences and history, both on a specific site and browsing among several sites, cookies can be used to act as a form of spyware. Many anti-spyware products are well aware of this problem and routinely flag cookies as candidates for deletion after standard virus and/or spyware scans.
Most browsers have built in privacy settings that provide differing levels of cookie acceptance, expiration time, and disposal after a user has visited a particular site. Backing up your computer can give you the peace of mind that your files are safe.