A cookie is a small piece of data that is sent from our web server to your browser when you visit iod.com. It is stored on your hard drive. Internet browsers normally accept cookies by default, but it is possible to set a browser to reject cookies.
The IoD sites comply with guidance recently issued by the Government’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
There are several types of cookie that are used to keep track of information needed by a site user as they travel from page to page within a website.
Cookies can be used to track internet activity after the user has left a website. These are normally facilitated by organisations external to the website being visited and are generally known as ‘third-party’ cookies. They usually have a long lifetime with several months being quite common. They are 'harvested' and 'refreshed' whenever the user visits a page where the same or a similar cookie is being used.
We currently use Google Analytics to measure and analyse visitor information related to our web site. For that purpose, your IP address, Internet traffic data and data on your browser type and PC are collected using several cookies (_utma, _utmc, utmb, utmz):
- _utma is used by Google Analytics to identify first-time site ('unique') visitors vs. returning visitors. It expires after two years
- _utmc identifies unique visitors vs. returning visitors but expires when you close your browser.
- _utmb is used for general visitor tracking and expires after 30 minutes.
- _utmz tracks source visits (the origin of the visit). It expires after six months.
Third-party cookies and microsites
The domain specified in the cookie relates to the cookie's owner (the "party"), who has set the cookie. iod.com cookies will have the iod.com domain specified in a cookie. These are first-party cookies.
iod.com sets a number of cookies. These are used to analyse our members' browsing of iod.com for future improvements and to provide certain useful functions such as storing your login details. The data is not used to identify individual members. See our third party cookies policy for further information.
A third-party cookie is set when you visit a site but the domain named in the cookie sent to your computer is not the same as the website. For example, if you visit iod.com, you may visit the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) microsite. Even though you have visited iod.com, the cookie will be from the iod.onlinecpd.co.uk microsite, which is provided by Premier IT.
Microsites are collections of webpages created as a discrete entity within a larger website. Microsite pages are usually related by content on a similar topic, such as the IoD's sustainable business microsite. They often have a different domain name from the parent website and content for microsites may be provided by specialist organisations.
iod.com hosts several microsites on our servers and links to many others hosted by our corporate partners. The IoD does not control dissemination of third party cookies.
The .ASPXAUTH (Member login) cookie holds login information regarding the current session from a user on the site. It is used for quick reference and is encrypted by .net to ensure security.
The ASP.NET_SessionId cookie is related to the Member login cookie. It is used by ASP.NET to create a session cookie that contains 'session id' and is required for everyone visiting the site. This helps to maintain security and to keep track of visitor data. It is a required cookie for forms where it allows the data entered to be processed.
The EventBooking cookie holds information required to book an event. It includes information such as booker name, guest name, job and company as well as the event ID and any special requirements of the booker and guests entered. This is necessary to enable the booking process to be completed and passed over to the shopping basket. A cookie is created for each event being booked.
The EventBasket cookie enables the visitor to complete a transaction and pay for an event they have selected in the booking process. It contains event IDs that have been added to the basket.
iFrames are set up on some of our pages to present event and booking information. IRIS provides iFrames for this purpose and may present cookies.
We sometimes embed media content from external websites. IoD.com pages with embedded media content, for example photos from flickr or videos from YouTube, may provide cookies from these websites. Cookies may also be presented by external providers of a share content service, such as digg or Twitter.
Internet browsers normally accept cookies by default, but it is possible to set a browser to reject cookies. If this is done it is important not to exclude the benign and useful cookies. Choose an option that rejects all third party and long-lived cookies.