What are cookies?
Cookies are tiny text files that are sent to your browser by a web page and hold some information that can be accessed when you visit the website. They don’t usually hold personal information, but act more as an identifier so that the right personal information can be fetched and used by the site.
To make full use of the HomeOwners Alliance website you’ll need to accept cookies when you browse. For instance, they are used in our site search, online chat, if you leave a comment or complete forms and applications, and to prevent you seeing the same information again and again as you travel the site.
Wherever we can we’ve reduced the number of cookies our website sends to your computer, tablet or phone, and as part of our commitment to transparency and understanding, you can see what each cookie is for, how we use it, and how if you want to, you can reject cookies in your browser.
Other people’s cookies
The HomeOwners Alliance site is a gateway for many services. We have negotiated with high quality partners and providers of surveys, mortgages, conveyancing and other find a local professional services to enable users to compare quotes and access useful services. These are accessed through forms on our site, so some providers set cookies on your browser to let them know that you’ve come through the HomeOwners Alliance site.
We don’t control the cookies that may be set when you land on pages in our site that contain third party content, but we do negotiate with our partners to limit the number and type of cookies they set on on your browser while you are on our site, and require them to provide links to their privacy or cookie policies on the page to help you check and manage the cookies they are setting.
How long is information stored?
Some cookies last just for one visit or ‘Session’ and are stored in memory, maintaining information as you browse across different pages. These are deleted when you close your browser or after a period of inactivity. Shopping carts rely on this type of ‘session’ cookie.
Other cookies are not deleted when your browser is closed, but are written to your hard disk. These are often used to maintain preferences for a site, so that you don’t have to reset the whole environment the next time you visit, or to identify your history of activity on a site. They usually don’t contain personal information, but they can, and they can last longer than session cookies, from a few days through to many years. These are ‘persistent’ cookies.
At HomeOwners Alliance we consider technologies such as web beacons, Flash cookies and local storage to fall under the definition of ‘cookies’, so we let you know where these are used too.
If you would like more information about Cookies and their use, the best place to look is Cookiepedia.co.uk – the link opens in a new window.
Can I opt out all together?
Yes, but bear in mind that most of your website preferences will be lost if you delete all cookies from your browser, so it will affect the functionality of the sites you already know and visit. You can control which cookies are set in your browser, block third-party cookies, get a notification when a cookie is set and other options, but the options available depend on the browser you use. You can check the following links for the browsers you use to find instructions on what to do.
What about mobile opt-out?
Most mobile operating systems offer some level of advertising choice, often with the choice to not be tracked, and to control the type of interest-based ads you may see. You can get specific advice and links to the most popular mobile operating systems instructions from the Network Advertising Initiative.
You can also download privacy apps that will assist you in setting privacy preferences for specific companies, here are a couple to get you started.
We list cookies as follows:
Strictly Necessary • These you can’t switch off, they’re needed for the website to function.
Analytics • Lets us count traffic sources to improve our content, and are anonymous.