Does the Happy Valley website collect cookies?
- To store non-default date and name display preferences when looking at family tree pages. UK users will usually prefer the default display settings. Options are provided, particularly for US citizens who prefer dates to be displayed in a US format. The cookie data for this amounts to just a few characters with no personal identity information, and the cookie is persistent across browser sessions.
- If you use the search facility in the family history pages, your search parameters will be retained in a persistent cookie in order to pre-load the search form the next time you request a search. The system will also save all searches in a log file for development and error correction purposes. These records will be completely anonymous.
This list is not exhaustive. There are many other uses of cookies on the larger commercial web sites.
A cookie is a usually very small computer file recording information about the user’s use of a particular web site. There are two types of cookie – session cookies and persistent cookies.
Session cookies are deleted when you close your browser or, in some cases, when you log out of an online service. These cookies are also commonly used to reduce page loading times and to make more efficient use of server processing, both enabling the user to experience a better and faster service.
Persistent cookies are stored on your computer indefinitely, on your hard disk if your computer has one. Persistent cookies are commonly used to store information that will be of value the next time you visit the same web site, for example, whether or not you want your userid or email remembered. Some persistent cookies are stored with a time limit and will expire and disappear.
It is possible to remove persistent cookies and you should refer to your ‘help’ system for instructions on how to do this.
What happens if I disallow cookies?
Most PC and MAC browsers provide an option in their settings to prevent the creation and keeping of cookies. So far as the Happy Valley website is concerned, just one feature will change if you disallow cookies – if you browse the family history pages you will only be able to display dates in the default format, day, month, year and forenames, surnames. However, some complex sites will simply not work without them. In particular, you may find that banking and similar sites just won’t work without them and you will not be able to logon until you allow cookies once again.
Should I be concerned about cookie use?
Generally no. However, there are some web sites, usually those selling products or services, that make extensive use of information collected via cookies. Each of these companies should now be soliciting your permission to do so. Some may well offer the user a choice of cookie use, for instance, enabling the user to disconnect from marketing purposes. Others will offer an all or nothing capability. Beware that if you say ‘no’ a web site may become unusable to you. Many commercial web sites read cookies placed by their competitors in order to see what products you may have been looking for that they might also offer you. However, those that are alert to this will encrypt the cookie data.
Cookies are pretty well essential for a good internet browsing experience. The Happy Valley website is a simple site which uses them for a single minor purpose in addition to the basic WordPress functional cookies. We do not collect any personal information from you or your computer. WordPress, our ISP, and some of the sites we link to collect a wide range of statistical information including your network (IP) address and may in some circumstances collect personal information such as your email address.
The Happy Valley website includes a section on Bollington family history. The family information provided to the webmaster often includes persons still living. These persons may be recorded as such and the web pages are designed never to show these people (unless we have been specifically authorised), except to those responsible for the upkeep of the system – presently just the family webmaster and the site webmaster.
WordPress provides the site webmaster with extensive information regarding usage of the site. This information is derived from log files on the server which record every page access in some detail. This includes your network (IP) address. The webmaster uses this information to monitor site usage. Monitoring helps us to identify possible misuse and suspect IP addresses are restricted from access. The majority of users from some countries in particular provided significant cause for concern and so all access from Brazil, India, China, Russia and Belarus has been blocked.
The Happy Valley website does not carry advertising.