# About vpsBible’s Cookies

What cookies are used here at vpsBible, and why?

vpsBible uses cookies, as almost all websites do, to help provide you with the best possible browsing experience. So what the deuce are cookies?

Cookies are tiny text files that download to your local device, whether a PC, smart phone or whatever, just as do other web files, when you browse web pages. They're rarely bad (but can be and that's covered in vpsBible's Web section) and are generally very useful.

So let's examine this site's cookies. Without exception, they will help you:

  • To make vpsBible work smoothly as you browse from page to page, between the sub-sites, and when you use website functionality such as the forums
  • To save you from having to log in every time you come back
  • To remember your settings during and between visits to the site
  • By offering free services and content, thanks to advertising
  • To improve vpsBible's speed and security
  • By assisting you to share pages on social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter
  • To allow users to pay via Paypal to become a premium content subscriber
  • To allow users to donate via Paypal, should they want to
  • To personalise the site depending on your Profile preferences
  • To continuously improve the site for you
  • To make vpsBible's marketing more efficient, for instance if you sign up for the newsletter or RSS feed

Bad cookies, on the other hand, collect and use sensitive data without express permission. That is not the case here. vpsBible does not use cookies to:

  • Collect any personally identifiable information without your agreement (such as when you subscribe and include your name)
  • Collect any sensitive information, ever
  • Pass personally identifiable data to third parties, excepting to Paypal when people subscribe for premium content
  • Pay sales commissions (although that may change as and when vpsBible sets up an affiliate scheme, again disclaiming such for those site users who want to become affiliates)

Granting vpsBible permission to use cookies

If the settings on your web browser, such as Firefox, are set to accept cookies then we take that as permission, from you, for vpsBible to use cookies. If you don't like that then change your browser settings, and you can find out how below, but just be aware that this site's functionality will become more limited.

Introducing the Cookies

vpsBible, again like many sites, uses a lot of cookies, each for different things, some being homemade, others being third party. And here they are.

vpsBible's Function Cookies

vpsBible's own cookies make the main site work properly:

  • Determining if you're logged in or not
  • Remembering your search settings
  • Making the free registration system work so you can use the forum …
  • … And helping you to use the forum, adding posts, rating posts and so on
  • Allowing you to rate tutorials
  • Interacting with services like Paypal so you can pay for a premium content subscription
  • … Or just in case you want to make a donation, which is never a bad thing 😉
  • And, more generally, tailoring content to your needs

There is no way to prevent these cookies being set other by not using vpsBible. Bummer!

Social Website Cookies

For you to be able, easily, to ‘Like' or share vpsBible content – on, say, Facebook or Twitter – there are some social sharing buttons. You can also ‘friend' Olly on, for instance, Google+ or Twitter.

Third party cookies are set by each of the social networks:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • There are others. Hey, the site's just launched but these will be added soon.

The privacy implications do vary from social network to social network and will depend on your privacy settings for each. For any you've signed up to the vpsBible recommends that you do look carefully at those settings which, as you might have noticed, can change quite often. (Particularly with Facebook but, hey, let's not point any fingers, nudge-nudge-wink-wink!)

Anonymous Visitor Statistics Cookies

vpsBible also uses cookies to compile visitor statistics, such as how many people have been to the site, what technology they use (for instance, Mac or Windows, helping to identify when the site isn't working so well for a particular operating system), how long users spend here, what pages they look at, and so on. All this data is really useful to help improve the site. These so-called ‘analytics' programs also tell us, on an anonymous basis, how people reached the site (so, for instance, from a search engine) and whether they've been here before. Again, all this kind of info helps develop the kind of content that people want to see.

vpsBible uses:

  • Woopra's analytics
  • Google Analytics, which also gives details when, for example, there are broken links

Advertising Cookies

Cookies are widely used in online advertising. Neither vpsBible nor its advertising partners can gain any personally identifiable information from any cookies here.

You can learn more about online advertising at YourOnlineChoices.

You can opt-out of almost all advertising cookies at YourOnlineChoices. Then again, don't! For one thing, adverts help to keep most of the web free and, for another, by opting out of ads they will not actually disappear, they just will no longer be targeted. Some people like to opt out of some and not others. (This sounds like an interesting forum discussion, in the making!) Anyhow, food for thought.

vpsBible is allied with one ad network, which in turn tracks the ‘bible's affiliation with its own web host (which doesn't add any cookies):

  • DoubleClick

Turning Cookies Off

You can adjust or refuse cookies and there's a guide at vpsBible's sister site, Olly's blog, Guvnr, showing how to tweak cookie settings for most browsers (and which also has some good cookie theory that security-seekers would do well to read).

… Just bear in mind that by limiting cookies you will also limit functionality, not just here but all over the web. That doesn't mean you shouldn't do it. Personally, I have my locally stored cookies clear every time the browser closes, using LastPass to log me back into sites automatically, which gives me the best of both worlds, but that solution won't work for everyone or, else, you may want to set up cookie preferences on a site to site basis for some of your regular haunts.

Maybe you're mostly concerned about ‘spyware' cookies, LSO flash cookies? Frankly, you should be. vpsBible has none of these little critters but many sites do, some being household name websites. You can see how I keep my surfing anonymous by deleting those, automatically, by reading vpsBible's Web section.

So there you go. vpsBible's cookies are disclaimed and hopefully you learned something along the way. vpsBible owes a shout-out to Attacat who created the superb Chromium browser extension that made auditing vpsBible's cookies really far too simple, so thanks lads, good job.