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Privacy and cookies policy

Last updated: January 11, 2020.

If you've come here to opt in or out of cookies, you can do that straight away by clicking here. If you're not sure what cookies are or what they do, please read on.

Quick summary

A general illustration of computer security: a padlock sitting on a computer keyboard.

That was the short version. Please read on if you'd like a fuller explanation—and for details of how to remove unwanted cookies from your computer.

What are cookies?

when you look at websites, text, graphics, videos, and other computer data moves from a web server (which stores the website you're looking at and "serves" it up to you) to your web browser (the program, such as internet explorer, firefox, google chrome, or whatever you use to surf the web). there is no easy way for a web browser to remember things about you as you move from page to page, which makes life difficult if you want to do something like putting a product in a shopping cart (trolley), select a particular size of text for the pages you're looking at, sign in to a website for a personalized experience, and so on.

That's where cookies come in. Cookies are small files that websites can store on your computer to help them remember things about you. Some cookies (known as session cookies) stay on your computer only for very short periods of time (typically, until you close your browser); others, known as persistent cookies, may stay there for years. Some cookies, known as first-party cookies, are set by the websites you visit; others are set by services that those websites rely on (for example, advertisements, statistical tracking programs, social networking widgets and so on)—and they're known as third-party cookies. Cookies like this can be used to track a web user's progress as they move from one website to another, although they generally do so anonymously (they don't usually contain personally identifiable information). Nevertheless, the use of cookies does raise understandable concerns about privacy. If you are worried about this, you can set up your web browser to accept or reject certain kinds of cookies and you can inspect or delete the cookies it contains at any time. We explain how to do this below.

How do we use cookies?

we use cookies for three things: to improve your experience of our site, to serve relevant personalized advertising, and for social media.

Cookies that improve your experience of our site

our website uses only one persistent (long-lasting) cookie (called cookieconsent_dismissed): to record the fact that you have seen our cookie warning and consented to it by clicking "ok." this cookie doesn't contain any personally identifying information and (for your convenience) is stored for one year from the time when you give your consent. our website doesn't use any other "persistent" (long-lasting) cookies and doesn't use any cookies to track you or collect personal information about you.

Although we do not generally use persistent cookies, our server will usually store one or two temporary (session) cookies on your computer. These are essential cookies that help our server work properly, but they don't contain any personally identifying information. They expire at the end of your session (usually when you close your browser):

Cookies used by pengnd.icu, showing the contents of the PHPSESSID cookie and when it expires.

Photo: The three cookies used by our website. Of these, only cookieconsent_dismissed is a persistent cookie that lasts beyond your current browsing session. You can also see the typical contents of a PHPSESSID cookie: it's a simple random identifier that contains no personal information about you. The cookie expires at the end of your session, which usually means when you close your browser.

None of these cookies (cookieconsent_dismissed, PHPSESSID, or DYNSRV) collect or store any personal information about you or track your behavior for marketing purposes in any way whatsoever.

Cookies that help us serve relevant, personalized advertising

Although our own server does not set persistent cookies (other than for cookie consent), please be aware that some persistent third-party cookies are set when you visit our website. Our site runs advertisements on most pages; it is a completely free website and if it didn't run advertising, it would simply not exist. The advertising partners we work with use what are known as persistent, third-party cookies to help them serve up relevant, targeted advertisements that they believe may match your interests, and they may share them with their own partner companies. (Although you might raise an eyebrow at this use of cookies, we believe it is better that advertisers show you things you might find interesting or useful than completely random advertisements.) We have no control over these third-party cookies. We do not see or have access to any information they may store or collect. They pass directly between your computer and the servers run by our advertisers.

At the moment, we run all our advertisements through Google, which publishes a detailed explanation of how it uses information from sites or apps that use its services (including this website).

Briefly, third party vendors, including Google, use cookies to serve ads to you based on your prior visits to our website. Google's main advertising cookie is called DoubleClick. Google's use of the DoubleClick cookie enables it and its partners to serve personalized ads to you based on your visit to our site and/or other sites you have previously visited on the Internet. You may opt out of the use of the DoubleClick cookie for interest-based advertising by visiting Google's Ads Settings page. If you want to permanently opt-out of the DoubleClick cookie, you can install a browser plugin on your browser, which works on Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer, but you will need to do that for each computer and web browser that you use (if you use more than one). You can learn more about how Google safeguards your privacy by visiting the website.

The cookies of other third-party vendors or other ad networks may also be used to serve ads on our site as part of Google's wider advertising network, and you can opt out of these cookies too by visiting www.youronlinechoices.com (Europe) or aboutads.info.

Cookies for social media

Like pages on most other modern websites, most of the pages on our site now include links to social networking and bookmarking sites to help people remember our articles and share them with their friends. Most of the social sharing buttons on our site are simple, ordinary web links that don't track or trace you in any way. We removed the official Twitter Tweet button in 2017: the "Tweet" buttons on our pages are just ordinary web links to Twitter. Although they look like the official button, they don't use cookies in any way and don't allow Twitter to track your browsing. In 2019, Google switched off support for Google+, so we no longer use Google social buttons or plugins at all.

The only social plugin we're using as of January 2020 is the Facebook "Like" button and we're in the process of converting those buttons to simple, privacy-friendly "Share" links as we routinely update our articles. Around a third of our pages are converted to date (so two thirds of them still have the Like button on them). In the meantime, please be aware that, whether you are signed into Facebook or not, it might be using cookies to track websites or pages you visit. No such information is collected by our own site and none of the information that may be collected by Facebook or any other social networking sites is available to us: it passes directly between your computer and the social networking site(s) you belong to. If you have concerns about privacy and social networking bookmarks, please visit the privacy pages of the sites or services you use (in particular, Facebook's Privacy Policy). If this kind of tracking bugs you, you could try switching your browser to Firefox, which now blocks aggressive social tracking cookies by default.

UK Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003

European Law requires that we inform European citizens of how our website uses cookies. We have carefully reviewed our legal obligations under the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 (revised May 2011), in line with guidance from the UK . It's for this reason that our site informs you that it is using cookies when you first enter it.

EU General Data Protection Regulations

As explained above, this website does not collect or store any personal information about you. It fully informs you about cookie use and allows you to consent to the use of cookies or opt-out of cookie use just as easily at any time. We have reviewed our obligations and believe the site is compliant with the EU GDPR, which is effective from May 25, 2018.

Children's Online Privacy Protection Act

as explained above, this site collects and stores no personal information from anyone—and that includes children under the age of 13. we believe it is therefore fully compliant with the us .

We will not keep, sell, or otherwise misuse your email address

We value feedback from our readers very highly: we're trying to improve this site all the time and your thoughts and suggestions are invaluable to us. If you send us feedback or comments, we keep them and act on them, if that's appropriate. We give you the option of sending feedback anonymously, though (to prevent abuse), your IP address and computer hostname are sent to us at the same time, along with basic details of which browser, operating system, and so on that you're using (that helps us if you've commented about formatting problems, mobile-device usability, or things like that). If you do choose to send us your email address, we may use it to send you a reply. We don't use it for any other purpose, we don't record it anywhere, and we don't retain it. If we send you a reply, we delete that promptly too, so there is no record of your email address anywhere on our web server or email server. When we store your feedback, we delete your name, email address, IP address, and host name; only your comments and suggestions are stored.

When you email us or submit feedback, we may use Google's reCAPTCHA technology to help check your input and prevent automated spam replies. This use of reCAPTCHA is subject to the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Opting out

we don't offer a way for you to opt-out of having your information collected or a way to remove your personal information from our records, because we don't collect any information about you.

How can you control your privacy?

Remember: you are in control: you can restrict the information that websites collect about you very easily at any time.

if you're concerned about cookies, you can change the options in your web browser to restrict how websites can use them. you can switch off certain cookies, instruct your browser to keep them only for certain periods, or delete cookies altogether. you can set the level of privacy controls you want by looking under privacy in your browser's options, preferences, or settings:

  • Internet Explorer (recent versions): Click on the gear icon on the top right. Look under Internet options > Privacy. Use the slider to control cookies and set the level of privacy you prefer.
  • Internet Explorer (older versions): Click on Tools. Look under Internet options > Privacy. Use the slider to control cookies and set the level of privacy you prefer.
  • Firefox: Look under Tools > Preferences > Privacy. (On some versions of Firefox, you'll need to look under Edit > Preferences > Privacy.)
  • Chrome and Chromium: Click on the spanner on the top right of your screen. Then look under Preferences > Under the Hood > Privacy > Content Settings > Cookies.
  • Safari (Macintosh): Click on the gear icon on the top right. Then look under Preferences > Privacy.
  • Safari (iPhone and iPod Touch): Click on Settings (the gear icon) from the iPhone/iPod Home screen. Privacy is near the top. You can either use Private Browsing to stop your browser remembering anything at all or selectively control cookies under the heading "Accept Cookies."
  • Konqueror (Linux): Click on Settings > Configure Konqueror > Cookies > Policy.

for other browsers, look up "privacy" or "cookies" in the user guide.

Please be aware that if you switch off cookies altogether, you might3d精华衣123456 prevent some parts of some websites (such as shopping carts and personal preferences) from working properly or you might find yourself logged out of a website and unable to access it properly. One solution is to enable cookies only for those websites you know and trust (favorite shopping sites) and disable them for all other sites. Generally, if you don't log in to websites and you don't want to buy things or set website preferences, it is safe to switch off cookies altogether; if any websites do need to use them, they will usually display a message suggesting you switch them back on.

How to set the don't track option in the Firefox browser.

Don't track, private browsing, and incognito

some modern web browsers have other ways of improving your privacy. for example, if you look under "privacy" in newer versions of firefox, you'll find a simple tick-box option "tell websites i do not want to be tracked." sounds great! unfortunately, as the privacy-friendly search engine duckduckgo has , "do not track" is an empty promise: it's entirely voluntary (and it doesn't stop tracking anyway), so it's much less effective than blocking or deleting cookies. most of the common browsers also have a "private browsing" or "incognito" mode that stops any data from being collected as you move from page to page, but you probably won't be able to sign into websites if you use this option all the time. and you won't be completely incognito: your ip address will still be visible to and logged by any sites you visit.

Photo: You'll find the "Don't Track" option in Firefox under the Privacy options. You can also change the "History" setting underneath so Firefox deletes all records of your current session when you exit your browser.

Site statistics and server logs

3d精华衣123456unlike many other websites, we don't obsessively run analytics software to track our visitors; occasionally we run google analytics for a day or two to help us diagnose technical problems, but we don't have it switched on the whole time tracking everything you do. we do not even use routine server logging: our cloud grid server has logging disabled by default, so we don't track or trace your web browsing in any way. we enable server logging only when we have technical issues that need fixing. on those rare occasions, through our website hosting company, we run a general statistical package called to show up daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly patterns and trends. it doesn't log any personal information about you or how you use our site: it simply tells us general things about how many visitors we have, which pages they look at, and so on. we don't retain web server logs or the detailed information they contain, so the way you use our site is not tracked or traced.

How can you find out more about privacy issues?

3d精华衣123456these sites may help you:

  • : Includes a simple way to opt out of online behavioral advertising.
  • : Makes it easy to see which advertisers have stored cookies on your company and how you can opt out of behavioral advertising.
  • : A simple guide to how and why advertisers use cookies and how you can control your privacy online. Written mainly for European users.
  • : From Howstuffworks.
  • : Wikipedia has a fairly lengthy explanation of the issue and links to further information.

For a more general look at privacy issues, you might like to look at the Electronic Frontier Foundation: Privacy page. You might also find Simson Garfinkel's book Database Nation: The Death of Privacy in the 21st Century interesting; though it's a little dated on specifics now, the basic issues haven't changed.


Our pop-up cookie-consent warning script was supplied by Silktide, and slightly modified by us on July 29, 2015 so it serves faster from our own server. It's released under the GNU General Public License Version 3 as published by the Free Software Foundation.

Let us know

We hope this answers any concerns you may have about privacy and reassures you that we take the issue seriously. If you have any further queries, please don't hesitate to contact us using our email form.

Please do NOT copy our articles onto blogs and other websites

Text copyright © Chris Woodford 2006, 2018. All rights reserved. Full copyright notice and terms of use.

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