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Cookies on The Online Clinic

What are cookies?

Cookies are small text files that are stored by the browser (e.g. Internet Explorer or Safari) on your computer or mobile phone. They allow websites to store such things as user preferences. You can think of cookies as providing a "memory" for the website, enabling it to recognise a user and respond appropriately.

How does The Online Clinic use cookies?

A visit to a page on The Online Clinic may generate the following types of cookie:

  • User session cookies
  • Registration cookies
  • Anonymous analytics cookies
  • Third party cookies

The Online Clinic uses cookies to record whether a user is allowed to access certain parts of the website. As such, the use of cookies on The Online Clinic is required for the website to function correctly.

User session cookies

User session cookies are used to identify you as a user between page loads. This allows The Online Clinic to remember certain settings, like which part of the website you were using before you were asked to sign in or register. These cookies get deleted each time you close your browser.

Registration cookies

When you register with The Online Clinic, we generate cookies that signal whether you are signed in or not. Our servers use these cookies to work out which account you are signed in with.

If you have not selected 'keep me signed in,' your cookies get deleted when you close your browser.

Anonymous analytics cookies

Every time a user visits our website, web analytics software provided by a third party generates an anonymous analytics cookie. These cookies can tell us whether or not you have visited the site before. Your browser will tell us if you have these cookies, and if you don't, we generate new ones.

This allows us to track how many individual unique users we have, and how often they visit the site.

These cookies are used for statistical purposes only.

Third party cookies

On some pages of The Online Clinic, third parties may also set their own anonymous cookies, for the purposes of tracking the success of their application, or customising the application for you. Because of how cookies work, The Online Clinic cannot access these cookies, nor can the third parties access the data in cookies used by The Online Clinic. No personal information is ever passed to third parties or available to third party cookies from The Online Clinic.

For example, when you recommend The Online Clinic using a social media sharing button on the home page, the social network that has created the button will record that you have done this.

How do I turn cookies off?

It is usually possible to stop your browser accepting cookies, or to stop it accepting cookies from a particular website. Please be aware that by stopping your browser accepting cookies, many websites will not function correctly. For example, we cannot tell if you are signed in without using cookies, so you would not be able to purchase medication.

All modern browsers allow you to change your cookie settings. These settings will typically be found in the 'options' or 'preferences' menu of your browser. In order to understand these setttings, the following links may be helpful, otherwise you should use the 'Help' option in your browser for more details.

Cookie settings in Internet Explorer
Cookie settings in Firefox
Cookie settings in Chrome
Cookie settings in Safari

Useful links

If you would like to find out more about cookies and their use on the Internet, you may find the following links useful:
Microsoft Cookies guide
All About Cookies

The IAB has provided the following website to give information specifically about privacy issues around Internet advertising:
youronlinechoices.co.uk/uk

For further legal information about privacy issues, you may find these links useful:
Data Protection Act 1998
The Information Commissioner's Office

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