Cookie Policy

What is a “cookie”?
A “cookie” is a small file that is stored on your computer while browsing the internet which contains some digital information which can be traced to an individual. It does not store any personal details.

Most websites use cookies as part of the user experience, for instance to tailor the experience offered by a site to a user’s preferences or to prevent a user from having to repeatedly log in.

Some types of cookies can be more intrusive, and track use across several sites in order to, for example, deliver tailored advertising.

Does the HCSA website use cookies?
Yes we do, for two main purposes:

  1. Essential session cookies
  2. Non-essential cookies to collect site analytics via Google Analytics

No other cookies are currently in use.

Essential cookies
HCSA uses cookies in order to check whether a user is legitimate and whether they are logged in or not. These are “session” cookies, meaning that they expire as soon as a browser is closed.

Non-essential cookies
We collect anonymous information via Google Analytics about visits to our website. This information is stored in an aggregated way in order to measure useage, the effectiveness of our online presence, and the source of visitors to our website.

All information collected by Google Analytics is anonymised, with visitors’ IP addresses masked so that there is no way to identify individuals who visit the site.

However, Google Analytics does place three distinct cookies on a the computer of visitors to HCSA’s website. One (_ga) lasts for two years and is used to distinguish between users. The second (_gid) is a “session” cookie which lasts for a time-limited period (around 24 hours) and records a unique visitor’s behaviour. The final “session” cookie (_gat) lasts for a minute and is used to manage load to the Google Analytics server.

Can I turn off cookies?
All browsers offer the facility to restrict cookie behaviour or turn off cookies. For more information and instructions on how to do this, please visit the software developer websites below:

Blocking Google Analytics
Google has provided a useful browser add-on that gives users the ability to block Google Analytics tracking.

It is available for download from the Google website.


Last updated 24.05.2018