Online50 Cookie Policy

Online50 Cookie Policy

When you visit websites operated by Online50 we may use "cookies" to provide you with the best experience.  Just like a fortune cookie, there is some information "hidden inside" the cookies that help us to give you the best experience.  Our Cookie Policy explains how we use cookies to help you decide whether to allow cookies on our websites.

On this page:

What are cookies?

When you request a resource(a page) from a web server, when the web server replies it can instruct your browser to use a cookie.  The cookie has a name, some data associated with that name, and a list of one or more websites that the browser should provide the cookie to when it accesses any resources on any of those websites.  The web server can also say how long the cookie is valid for, and if it should be discarded when the browser stops running.

Cookies are important for a lot of website interactions because it allows the web server to take into account your own preferences, and to keep track of a series of different interactions with the website if required.  Web browsers and web servers exchange information using the HTTP protocol (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) which is "stateless".  That means that when you request a resource that request is completely independent of and unaffected by any other requests for any resource (including that same resource) by any user, including you.

Reputable companies will be careful about what data they collect about you, and safeguard that information, not passing it to any other party without your consent.  This cookie policy explains what we use cookies for in the various sites that we operate.

How does Online50 use cookies?

We use different cookies for different purposes.  Whenever you subscribe to any services that we offer, or transact with us through one of the websites we operate we may use a cookie for the purposes of fulfilling our obligations or enabling the service or transaction.  In addition to this necessary use of cookies we use cookies in the following ways:

User Preferences

If you send information to us (for example by filling out a contact form) you may see an option for that information to be remembered.  If you tick this box then we will ask your web browser to remember a cookie containing an identifier.  In our systems we than match up the identifier with the information you supply.  We do not store the information you have sent to us in the cookie, and there is no way for that information to be accessed or deduced from the identifier we ask your browser to store.  When you visit one of our sites your browser will send the cookie containing the identifier back to the web server and it will then be able to access the information you have asked it to remember.

If you have subscribed to one of our services we may also link the information you have supplied separately (perhaps through a different website which we operate) to the information relating to your subscription.

Session Identification

We want to understand how users interact with our websites so we can improve the way they operate.  Whenever any resource is requested from one of our web servers we record information that is supplied to us with the request.  This information is always available and is always supplied irrespective of whether or not any cookies are used.  This information includes the IP (network) address that the request has originated from, the identification string provided by the browser, and the URL (web address) of the page that held the link that was clicked to reach this page.  This information is automatically logged by our web servers irrespective of any cookies that you may set.

To make it easier for us to correlate this data we set a cookie which is only saved for 30 minutes or for as long as you are on our site.  This is also passed to us with each request.  If you ask us to save information, then we will also associate details about the pages you have visited to the information that you have asked us to save.  This helps us to understand what is important to our users.


We also use Google Analytics to help us understand website usage data.  This requires that we embed Google code onto each of our web pages which will in turn set a cookie which is used by Google.  The information available to Google is similar to the information that is logged by our web servers, but the exact data is controlled by Google and not by us.  Google Analytics provides us with an easy way to summarise web usage data.  Detailed information about web usage data is obtained from our own web server logs which does not rely on cookies.

Use of Subscribed Services

When users subscribe to services that we provide, or register to access controlled information, they will be issued with login credentials.  Use of these login credentials may result in a session cookie being set even if you have opted out of the use of a session cookie.  This is because the cookie needs to be set for us to provide you with the service you have requested.  Where we need to use a cookie to fulfil a service you have requested that cookie will be used even if you may have opted out of the use of that cookie.

Marketing Of Online50 Services

If you have provided us with your information (by filling out a contact form for example) then we may use the information that we have collected to determine which of our products and services you are interested in.  We do not pass any details that we have collected on to third parties for marketing purposes.  We will never provide any of the information you have provided to us to any unrelated third party.  We may need to pass your information on to a related party to fulfil a request that you have made.  For example, if you have subscribed to a software application through Online50 the software vendor normally requires us to register your details with them as part of making the service available to you.

What cookies does Online50 use?

We use different cookies for different purposes. 

Online50SurferTagThis cookie is used to store a unique identifier on your computer, so that we can match that to information that you have asked us to remember.  We specify a long 'shelf life' for the cookie so it is saved for three years since its last use.  We set it to be passed to a number of different Online50 websites.  It is only used internally by Online50.  We may associate the same identifier with a range of different Online50 operated websites and services to provide users with a seamless, joined up experience.
Online50SessionTagThis cookie is used to track information about your interaction with one of our websites for an individual visit.  This cookie has a short shelf life of only 30 minutes.  If you have asked us to remember information about you, then we may associate each of the individual visits by you together so that we can provide you with the information you have asked us to remember.
Online50OptOutThis cookie is used to record your own cookie preferences.  If you have opted either in or out of cookies this cookie is set to remember your choices.  When opting out of cookies we have to remember that you have opted out, and so this cookie will be set.  The cookie stores an option tag that we match up to our records to work out which cookies you have chosen to allow.  This means that we can use the same cookie for all of your cookie choices.  This cookie has a long shelf life so that your choices are remembered for up to three years since your last visit.

How do I stop cookies?

We allow our users to opt out of us setting cookies if they choose to.  Please note that this may impact your experience of our website.  Also note the comments above about the use of subcribed services possibly setting cookies irrespective of your settings.  We recommend that you enable all Online50 cookies, to confirm your personal choice please use the Cookie Choices form.