Overview of cookies

A cookie is a small piece of text that a website asks your browser (such as Internet Explorer) to save to your computer when you visit the website. When you visit another page on the same website, or in some cases when you next visit the website, the browser sends the cookie back to the website so it can remember your visit. This kind of memory is then used to keep you logged in for example.

What cookies are for

Cookies do a lot of different jobs, and there are four types of cookies:

  • Strictly necessary cookies allow a browser to keep each visit to the website as a single browsing 'session'. This enables your browser to keep you logged in to the website, for example. These cookies contain an anonymous identifier that remains the same during the time you are on the website.
  • Performance cookies allow a browser to tell the website which pages it is visiting. This enables the performance of the website to be monitored, and shows how many visits the website has, which areas are most popular, and which areas can be improved.
  • Functionality cookies allow the browser to remember the preferences you have set for the website, for example text and colour preferences.
  • Targeting cookies, unlike the cookies listed above, allow the browser to store and send information to 'third parties' - organisations other than the owner of the website - about your visit. These are used to tailor advertisements or social media content.

  • These cookies are requested by the Royal Borough of Greenwich website to support cooperation with your browser during a session. The names and details of these cookies are shown below.

    TestCookie
    This cookie:

    • Contains: The word 'Test'
    • Expires: When you close your browser
    • Notes: This cookie checks whether you have allowed cookies to be used for logging in, accessing online forms and choosing text and colour preferences.

    PHPSESSID
    This cookie:

    • Contains: A randomly generated number
    • Expires: When you close your browser
    • Notes: This is used to maintain continuity as a browser moves around the site, it enables the site to keep a browser logged in or submit online forms.
  • These cookies are used to measure how many users visit the Royal Borough website and for how long, what pages are visited, and which links are used (for example, activated or clicked on). We interpret these measures to monitor how well online services are performing.

    They contain no personal information, and are evaluated in terms of pages visited, not the people visiting them.

    The following cookies are requested by this website for use by two external performance monitoring services: SiteImprove and Google Analytics. We do not allow these providers to use or share these cookie figures, they are for our own use.

    Cookies requested for SiteImprove:

    nmstat
    This cookie:

    • Contains: A randomly generated number
    • Expires: When you close your browser
    • Notes: This cookie is used to help remember the browser's use of the website. It is used to collect statistics about site usage such as when the browser last visited the site. This information is then used to evaluate and improve the way the website is used.

    ASP.NET_SessionId
    This cookie:

    • Contains: A randomly generated piece of text
    • Expires: When you close your browser
    • Notes: This is a third party cookie provided by SiteImprove. This cookie is used purely to track the sequence of pages a visitor looks at during a visit to the site. The user is not personally identifiable. This information can be used to reduce user journeys, and enable visitors to find relevant information quicker.

    MasterCookie
    This cookie:

    • Contains: The text 'MasterCookie'
    • Expires: When you close your browser
    • Notes: Used to check whether your browser accepts cookies.

    Cookies requested for Google Analytics:

    __utma
    This cookie:

    • Contains: A randomly generated number
    • Expires: Two years
    • Notes: A persistent cookie that remains on a computer unless it expires or the cookie cache is cleared. It tracks visitors within the site. Metrics associated with the Google __utma cookie include: first visit (unique visit) and last visit (returning visit).

    __utmb
    This cookie:

    • Contains: A randomly generated number
    • Expires: Thirty minutes
    • Notes: This cookie works with __utmc. It notes the browser's arrival time, and __utmc notes the exit time from the site. A timestamp of 30 minutes must pass before __utmb expires, and if no new page view is sent in thirty minutes the cookie is expired.

    __utmc
    This cookie:

    • Contains: A randomly generated number
    • Expires: When you close your browser
    • Notes: This cookie works with __utmb to record how long a browser spends on the site. See notes on the __utmb cookie.

    __utmz
    This cookie:

    • Contains: A randomly generated number and information about how the browser arrived, for example: 105385856.1335534567.1.1.utmcsr=(direct)|utmccn=(direct)|utmcmd=(none)
    • Expires: Six months
    • Notes: Cookie __utmz notes where a visit arrived from, with the referrer shown as type (direct, social, search engine (organic or cpc), or unaccounted). The __utmz Cookie also registers what keyword(s) generated the visit if it came from search, plus the approximate location of the browser.
  • These cookies are used to remember the preferences you set on the Royal Borough website.

    The following four cookies are set to last for one hour and change the look of the website to fit preferences that you may have set.

    userFontsize
    This cookie:

    • Contains: User choice of font size - small, medium, large, larger, largest
    • Expires: After one hour

    userFontchoice
    This cookie:

    • Contains: User choice of font - standard (Verdana), Times, Comic sans, Courier, Arial
    • Expires: After one hour.

    userLetterspacing
    This cookie:

    • Contains: User choice of spacing - small, medium, wide
    • Expires: After one hour.

    userColourscheme
    This cookie:

    • Contains: User choice (for example, highContrast)
    • Expires: After one hour.

    Cookies requested for Google Translate:

    Google Translate sets two cookies through our website. These are third party cookies that would register on other websites that check for the existence of a translate cookie.

    googtrans
    This cookie:

    • Contains: For example, '/en/es (English to Spanish'
    • Expires: When you close your browser
    • Notes: The cookie stores the translation preference.

    PREF
    This cookie:

    • Contains: For example, "ID=bc7ff7f16d0d774f:TM=1335534573:LM=1335534573:S=zPM87avT1rR0zWvi"
    • Expires: Two years
    • Notes: This is the Google cookie containing: ID - a browser identifier; TM - a timestamp of when the cookie was created; LM - a timestamp of when the browser preferences were last changed; S - a digital signature generated by Google which works in combination with page address settings. On the Google books site for example, it is used to only show you a few pages of the book from the page you started reading.
  • This website does not request targeting cookies.

Why this website uses cookies

This website requests cookies to:

  • enable logins and the filling in of forms (strictly necessary cookies)
  • check and improve the website's operation (performance cookies)
  • set language and page display options (functional cookies).

The Royal Greenwich website includes some online services provided by third parties. You can find further details about the cookies used by the Royal Greenwich and affiliated websites on the following pages.