We appreciate that technological jargon can be confusing so have set about making things easy to understand in terms of cookies and how they actually relate to your usage on our website.
What is a cookie?
Put simply, a cookie is a piece of information in the form of a very small text file that is placed on your hard drive when browsing the internet. This is generated by a web server, which is basically the computer that operates a web site. The information the cookie contains is set by VX3 and can be used as notification for whenever anyone visits our site. A cookie can be thought of as an internet user’s identification card, which is a friendly reminder to inform us when a customer has returned to our site.
What is the purpose of a cookie?
To enhance your user experience on our website, cookies make the interaction between users and websites faster and easier. Without cookies, it would be very difficult for VX3 customers to fill up a shopping cart or to remember your user preferences or registration details.
What does a cookie look like?
A typical cookie will look like:
HMP1 1 hotmail.msn.com/ 0 1715191808
32107852 1236821008 29449527 *
This one is from the Hotmail service and has the filename firstname.lastname@example.org
The codes will only make sense to Microsoft’s MSN Hotmail servers.
Are cookies dangerous?
No, they are quite simply small pieces of text which are not computer programs and cannot be executed as code. More importantly they are unable to be used to disseminate viruses, and browsers allow users to set their own limitations to the number of cookies saved on their hard drives.
Can cookies threaten users’ privacy?
Cookies are stored on the computer’s hard drive but they cannot access the hard drive – therefore a cookie cannot read other information saved on the hard drive, or gain access to a user’s contact details. They only contain and transfer to the server as much information as the users themselves have disclosed to a certain web site.
A server cannot set a cookie for a domain that it is not a member of. In spite of this, users quite often find in their computer files cookies from websites that they have never visited.
One of the biggest concerns and fears of people is regarding information passed on to third parties without consent.
Different types of cookies?
Cookies are used for many purposes, with the ones used by VX3 highlighted below.
ID – lifespan 1 day
This is the only cookie essential for our site to operate and is used to store an encrypted version of the session ID for each of our site visitors.
The session ID does not contain any data about your identity or browsing history, nor any details of your basket contents, location, currency, delivery preferences or any other use of the website. It is purely used as an ID to retrieve such details from the web server.
Referrer – lifespan 30 days
This is ONLY set for visitors coming from one of our network of affiliate links.
The cookie is used to assign the original referrer to all repeat visits for a period of 30 days. It is not used to influence the content of the site in any way.
FRCOUNT – lifespan 1 day
This cookie is only set if a customer receives a failed payment during the checkout process (e.g. the bank declined their transaction). We increment this for each failed payment and then prevent customers from trying again if they have had several failed attempts. Once the cookie has cleared after 24 hours then you are free to resume the process.
Every time you visit our website, a cookie is generated by Google Analytics which provides anonymous statistical data. This helps us track things like the number of visitors, how often they visit, and which pages are the most popular, so that we can improve our site experience.
We use Remarketing with Google Analytics to advertise online and make ads more relevant (“Remarketing”). Remarketing cookies will be used by third parties (including Google) to show our ads on websites other than our own.
Both us and third parties (including Google) will also use Remarketing cookies – to serve more relevant ads to users based on such users’ past visits to our website, whether those users are on our Website or on other websites.
Here at VX3 we aim to make things as transparent as possible with regards to our cookie use, striving to achieve the highest levels of customer satisfaction, confidence and security at all times.
For further details about how to personally control and delete your cookies we recommend visiting www.aboutcookies.org