For almost any modern website to work properly, it needs to collect certain basic information on its users. To do this, a site will create files known as cookies – which are small text files – on its users’ computers. These cookies are designed to allow the website to recognise its users on subsequent visits, or to authorise other designated websites to recognise these users for a particular purpose.
Cookies do a lot of different jobs which make your experience of the Internet much smoother and more interactive. For instance, they are used to remember your preferences on sites you visit often, to remember your user ID and the contents of your shopping baskets, and to help you navigate between pages more efficiently. They also help ensure that the advertisements that you see online are more relevant to you and your interests. Much, though not all, of the data that they collect is anonymous, though some of it is designed to detect browsing patterns and approximate geographical location to improve user experience.
Some of our pages may also contain images called ‘web beacons’ (also known as ‘clear gifs’), which allow us to count visitors. Web beacons only collect limited information, including a cookie number, a timestamp, and a record of the page on which they are placed. We may also carry web beacons placed by third party advertisers. These beacons do not carry any personally identifiable information and are only used to track the effectiveness of a particular campaign.
Recently, the law on cookies has changed. Now sites that try to place performance, functionality, and targeting and advertising cookies need your permission for before they can place them onto your computer.
Broadly speaking, there are four types of cookie: strictly necessary cookies, performance cookies, functionality cookies and targeting or advertising cookies.
Strictly necessary cookies are essential to navigate around a website and use its features. Without them, you wouldn’t be able to use basic services like shopping baskets and e-billing.
Performance cookies collect anonymous data on how visitors use a website; they can’t track users, and are only used to improve how a website works.
Functionality cookies allow users to customise how a website looks for them: they can remember usernames, language preferences and regions, and can be used to provide more personal services like local weather reports and traffic news.
Advertising and targeting cookies are used to deliver advertisements more relevant to you, but can also limit the number of times you see an advertisement, and be used to chart the effectiveness of an ad campaign by tracking users’ clicks. They can also provide security in transactions. They are usually placed by third-party advertising networks with a website operator’s permission, but can be placed by the operator themselves. They can remember that you have visited a website, and this information can be shared with other organisations, including other advertisers.
Additionally, these cookies break down into two further sub-types.
Persistent cookies remain on a user’s device for a set period of time specified in the cookie. They are activated each time that the user visits the website that created that particular cookie.
Session cookies are temporary. They allow website operators to link the actions of a user during a browser session. A browser session starts when a user opens the browser window and finishes when they close the browser window. Once you close the browser, all session cookies are deleted.
Skedaddle collects cookies from its users for a variety of reasons. This allows us not least to track our performance – but also to let us serve content tailored to our users’ specifications, which hopefully improves their overall experience of the site. Amongst other things, the cookies we use allow users to register and access the “my account” area and when users add a holiday to their wish list. Cookies also allow us to calculate how many visitors we have anonymously and how long and often they use our site.
We do our utmost to respect users’ privacy and use these cookies to monitor and improve our services. We believe that our users’ experience of the site would be adversely affected if they opted out of the cookies we use.
Skedaddle use third party services provided by Google to monitor and report user behaviour and display targeted Ads on third party sites within Google Ad Network.
Cookies help to make advertising more effective – and that is what keeps thousands of websites free of charge. Without cookies, it’s harder for an advertiser to reach its audience, or to know how many ads were shown and how many clicks they received.
Google store a record of the ads they serve in their logs. These server logs typically include your web request, IP address, browser type, browser language, the date and time of your request, and one or more cookies that may uniquely identify your browser. Google store this data for a number of reasons, the most important of which are to improve their services and to maintain the security of our systems. They anonymise this log data by removing part of the IP address (after 9 months) and cookie information (after 18 months).
To help Skedaddle manage their advertising and websites, Google offers many products, including AdSense, AdWords, Google Analytics, and a range of DoubleClick-branded services. Most pages on Skedaddle use one or more of these services. When you visit a page that uses one of these products, either on one of Google’s sites, our site or one of Google’s partners’, various cookies may be sent to your browser.
These may be set from a few different domains, including google.com, doubleclick.net, invitemedia.com, admeld.com, googlesyndication.com, or googleadservices.com. Some of Google’s advertising products enable their partners to use other services in conjunction with theirs (like an ad measurement and reporting service) and these services may send their own cookies to your browser. These cookies will be set from their domains.
h. How you can control advertising cookies
You can use Ads Settings to manage the Google ads you see and opt out of interest-based ads. Even if you opt out of interest-based ads, you may still see ads based on factors such as your general location derived from your IP address, your browser type and recent, previous searches related to your current search.
Most browsers accept cookies automatically, but you can alter the settings of your browser to erase cookies or prevent automatic acceptance if you prefer. Generally you have the option to accept all cookies, to be notified when a cookie is issued or reject all cookies. Visit the ‘options’ or ‘preferences’ menu on your browser to change these settings. You can check the following links for more browser-specific information.
By continuing to use our site, you agree to the placement of cookies on your device. If you choose not to receive our cookies, we cannot guarantee that your experience will be as fulfilling as it would otherwise be. For instance, the site won’t be able to recognise holidays added to your wish list and won’t remember your login details, which may require you to enter your personal information more often.