What is a Cookie
Small text files that are stored on your computer or mobile device are commonly called Cookies. They help our website work, or work in a better and more efficient way. One way, for example, is that they can recognize you and remember important information that will make your use of a website more convenient (e.g., by remembering your user preferences).
In addition to cookies that are required to enable certain functions on our Site, cookies are important to provide us with analytics to improve our site, and for advertisers who want to deliver ads that better match your demographic profile. We are committed to offering the valuable content on our Site free of charge, which means that we depend on advertisers as a source of revenue. To continue to attract high quality advertisers, they want to direct their advertising dollars toward their intended target market. They use the information from cookies, together with information provided to them by a number of third party marketing companies, to determine what products or services you might most be interested in. The cookies on our site collect information on an anonymous basis, and may track aggregated users or unique browsers on an anonymous basis. We provide important information below on how to opt out of many of the cookies used on our Site.
What Cookies do we use?
Cookie Type #1: Essential Cookies.
These cookies are necessary to the site in order to facilitate our optional profile set up process and enable you to move around it and to use its features.
Without these cookies, we may not be able to provide certain services or features, and the site will not perform as smoothly for you as we would like.
Cookie Type #2: Functionality Cookies.
Functionality cookies allow us to remember the choices you make while browsing the site, and to provide enhanced and more personalized content and features. Our servers receive and record information about your computer, device, and browser, potentially including your IP address, browser type, and other software or hardware information. If you access the Site from a mobile or other device, we may collect a unique device identifier assigned to that device (“UDID”), geolocation data, or other transactional information for that device. All of these features help us to improve your visit to the site.
Cookie Type #3: Flash Cookies.
We may, in certain situations, use Adobe Flash Player to deliver special content, such as video clips or animation. To improve your user experience, Local Shared Objects (commonly known as “Flash cookies”) are employed to provide functions such as remembering your settings and preferences. Flash cookies are stored on your device, but they are managed through an interface different from the one provided by your web browser. This means it is not possible to manage Flash cookies at the browser level, in the same way you would manage cookies. Instead, you can access your Flash management tools from Adobe’s website directly. The Adobe website provides comprehensive information on how to delete or disable Flash cookies – see http://www.adobe.com/security/flashplayer for further information. Please be aware that if you disable or reject Flash cookies for this Site, you may not be able to access certain features, such as video content or services that require you to sign in.
Cookie Type #4: Analytics Cookies.
We and our service providers may use analytics cookies, which are sometimes called performance cookies, to collect information about your use of the Site and enable us to improve the way it works. Analytics cookies collect information about how you use the site, for instance, which pages you go to most. This information may also allow us to track demographic statistics (such as age, gender, education, household income), other interests and potential affinities of our visitors. The information provided to us is anonymous browser information so that we can analyze the behavior associated with a single cookie; however, your identity remains anonymous and we do not collect any Personally Identifiable Information through the use of these cookies. The information allows us to see the overall patterns of usage on the site, help us record any difficulties you have with the site and show us whether our advertising is effective or not.
Cookie Type #5: Advertising Cookies.
We and our service providers may use advertising cookies to deliver ads that we believe are more relevant to you and your interests. For example, we may use targeting or advertising cookies to customize the advertising and content you receive on our Site, to limit the number of times you see the same ad on our Site and to help measure the effectiveness of our advertising campaigns. We may also use information collected by analytics cookies to report about visitor demographics, potential interests and affinities so that we can develop new products and services, or to better target our marketing and advertising that appears on the Site. These cookies remember what you have looked at on the Site and other sites, and may be combined with other information acquired from third parties, and we may share this information with other organizations, such as advertisers.
Cookie Type #6: Social Networking Cookies.
These Social plug-in tracking cookies can be used to track both members and non-members of social networks for “additional” purposes such as behavioral advertising, analytics, and market research.
We may work with third parties to provide services on our site for such items as comments or site analytics. We may not have access to these cookies, although we may use statistical information arising from the cookies provided by these third parties. Some of our third-party analytics services provide directly-measured traffic statistics, tracking user behavior at the user level, as well as behavioral and demographic reporting that utilize an inference-based methodology. No Personally Identifiable Information is collected by us from these third party cookies.
These companies may also transfer this information to other parties where required to do so by law, or where such other parties process the information on their behalf.
Third-party advertisers and other organizations may also use their own cookies to collect information about your activities on our Site and/or the advertisements you have clicked on. This information is often combined with information which advertisers and third party marketing companies have obtained from other sources. For example, anonymous information about the demographics of those using our Site may be used by third parties who may try to match that information against other databases of aggregated user behavior, or from offline sources (such as databases that cross-reference email data, search terms, consumer records, phone numbers, home addresses, vehicle records, credit card history, sweepstakes entries, and other similar data sets). We cannot determine the effectiveness of these methods, or whether marketing firms are able to accurately correlate anonymous user information with their available databases, but it is our intent to be transparent in how information may be collected on our Site and may be used by third parties. If you have concerns about the manner in which these third parties wish to refine their demographic information so they can predict your likely advertising preferences, we encourage you to use the Ad Choices link within our footer or the opt out information provided below to limit their ability to do so.
Third-party advertisers may also use this information to measure the effectiveness of their advertisements and to track aggregate usage statistics. We may not control these third-party cookies and their use may be governed by the privacy policies of the third parties employing these cookies.
Opting Out of Cookies
You can limit the ways in which Cookies are used, as follows:
- Most browsers are initially set up to accept HTTP cookies. The “help” feature of the menu bar on most browsers will tell you how to stop accepting new cookies, how to receive notification of new cookies, and how to disable existing cookies. For more information about HTTP cookies and how to disable them, you can consult the information at http://www.allaboutcookies.org/manage-cookies/.
- Controlling the HTML5 local storage on your browser depends on which browser you use. For more information regarding your specific browser please consult the browser’s website (often in the Help section).
- For more information about Flash “cookies” or local storage objects or LSOs, and how to disable them, you can consult the information provided at http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/526/52697ee8.html.
With regard to cookies used to track demographics, interest and affinities, and which may work in conjunction with advertising that appears on the Site, you can opt out of the third party analytics providers whose services we currently utilize, at:
Google Demographic and Interest tracking – https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout/
You may also opt-out of additional third party advertising networks by going to the Network Advertising Initiative’s Website at http://www.networkadvertising.org/managing/opt_out.asp and following the directions there. The effect of opting out of third party advertising networks is explained on each opt-out page. Information regarding your usage of the online services may still be collected for research, analytics or internal operations purposes. Please note that rejecting Cookies does not mean that you will no longer see ads when you visit our online services.
California Business & Professions Code Section 22575(b) (as amended effective January 1, 2014) provides that California residents are entitled to know how our site responds to “Do Not Track” browser settings. We do not currently take actions to respond to Do Not Track signals because a uniform technological standard has not yet been developed. We continue to review new technologies and may adopt a standard once one is created.