What are cookies?
Cookies are small text files created when you visit a website and are stored in the cookies directory of the computer or device you use to access that site. They contain a unique number, and every time you return to the cookies’ originating website, the cookies stored on your device get recognised.
They serve multiple purposes: mainly to make websites work better by providing invaluable information about how people interact with it, including what device people use, what content they read, and support some site functions, for example:
- by remembering your site settings and accessibility preferences,
- by supporting some of the content we use on the site, like video and interactive elements
- by enabling you to log in.
Yes, we do. All cookies used across our site are anonymous and where we do ask for data that can identify you personally, for example when making a donation. We keep this data securely – see our privacy notice for more information on how we store data.
In general terms there are two types of cookies, first party and third party.
- First party cookies are served directly to your computer from our website and often used to remember your preferences for using our site. They are essentially cookies from the MS Society.
For example, if you register or sign into the MS Forum, we use a cookie to remember who you are, so you don't need to log in again next time you visit.
- Third party cookies work in the same way as first party cookies, but are served by a third party on behalf of the website operator (the MS Society). Third party cookies are most commonly used for website analytics and advertising purposes.
We use Google Analytics across our websites. It's a web analytics service provided by Google, Inc. (“Google”), to understand what people do when they visit our site so we can provide a better experience for them.
Some of our pages contain embedded content like YouTube videos, or embedded posts from other social media channels and you may receive cookies from these websites.
We don't govern the publication of third party cookies. To understand more about these cookies and privacy statements, please visit the website they come from.
The cookies are categorised in the ICC Cookie Guide. We have outlined the categories our cookies fall into below:
- Strictly necessary cookies, these cookies are essential in order to enable you to move around the website and use its features, such as accessing secure areas of the website. Without these cookies services you have asked for, like shopping baskets or e-billing, cannot be provided.
Cookies we use: Google AJAX Search, Google Tag Manager.
- Performance cookies, these cookies collect information about how visitors use a website, for instance which pages visitors go to most often, and if they get error messages from web pages. These cookies don’t collect information that identifies a visitor. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. It is only used to improve how a website works.
Cookies we use: Google Tag Manager, Google Analytics, Hotjar.
- Functionality cookies, these cookies allow the website to remember choices you make (such as your user name, language or the region you are in) and provide enhanced, more personal features. These cookies can also be used to remember changes you have made to text size, fonts and other parts of web pages that you can customise. They may also be used to provide services you have asked for such as watching a video or commenting on a blog. The information these cookies collect may be anonymised and they cannot track your browsing activity on other websites.
Cookies we use: Google AJAX Search, Twitter syndication, Twitter button, Google+ Platform, Facebook Social Plugins, Facebook Connect, Facebook social graph.
- Targeting or advertising cookies, these cookies are used to deliver adverts more relevant to you and your interests They are also used to limit the number of times you see an advertisement as well as help measure the effectiveness of the advertising campaigns. They are usually placed by advertising networks with the website operator’s permission. They remember that you have visited a website and this information is shared with other organisations such as advertisers. Quite often targeting or advertising cookies will be linked to site functionality provided by the other organisation.
Cookies we use: Google adwords conversion, Google dynamic remarketing, Doubleclick, Doubleclick Floodlight, Rocketfuel, Media IQ, Facebook custom audience, Facebook pixel, Twitter universal pixel.
We use Google Analytics, a service provide by Google to measure the performance of our website. The information generated by the cookie about your use of the website (including your IP address) will be transmitted to and stored by Google on servers in the United States. Google will use this information for the purpose of evaluating your use of the website, compiling reports on website activity for website operators and providing other services relating to website activity and internet usage.
You can always opt-out of Google Analytics cookies by Google’s opt-out tool.
What information do we collect?
We may collect some, or all, of this information when you visit our website, depending on how you use it. We monitor how people use our website so we can improve it. We collect this information anonymously.
However, you can use our website anonymously without giving us any information.
If you visit our website, we may record information about including (but not limited to):
- the areas of the website you visit
- the amount of time you spend on the site
- whether you are new to the site, or have visited it before
- how you came to our website – for example, through an email link or a search engine
- the type of device and browser you use.
- how you use the website and the quality of your experience – for example we may track your bandwidth when viewing videos.
Although not through cookies, we do measure the success of the emails we send – so we know what subject lines and stories people liked the most. We receive this information anonymously, we don’t share this information.
You can change your internet browser controls to block certain cookies, or notify you when one is set.
However, if you disable all cookies please note that some functions of our websites may not work as intended – for example, you might not be able to log in so easily or use our online shopping or donation functions.
To find out more about settings in your browser, check your browser's Help menu or the instructions below for: