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When you visit certain websites, a cookie stores information in a text file. The website can then refer back to this information whenever it needs to.

Cookies are used to make your browsing experience faster and more effective. In most cases they just store a number that has been allocated to your browsing session. This allows you to move from page to page within a website without having to log-in repeatedly.

How do they work?

For example, when you log into the Portal a cookie (called portalUsernameCookie) is placed in your computer. This cookie stores your username. Then whenever you visit a page in the Portal the website can refer back to the cookie and know what your username is and deliver your personalised information.

The cookie looks like this:

portalUsernameCookie = smith_j; 
expires = Fri, 17 Aug 2012 12:10:23 GMT; 
path = /; 

So you can see it stores the username value, expiry date, domain and website path.

Are they dangerous?

They are not dangerous to your computer in any way, they are not executable programmes, viruses or code and cannot read information that exists on your computer. Cookies are also not a threat to privacy as they only store information that you volunteered to that particular website anyway.

So why are people concerned?

The major concern with cookies is that of third party cookies (a cookie is issued by a site other than the one you are currently surfing, maybe by an advertisement on that website) or tracking cookies which can be used to record peoples browsing histories. This is causing concerns over privacy as people do not want what they have been looking at to be recorded.

Cookies can only be accessed by a website with the specified domain and path.

Types of cookie

Session cookies only exist until you close your browser and end the current browsing session. Session cookies are never written on the hard drive.

Permanent cookies (also called persistent or stored cookies) store a text file on your computer so if you visit the same website again it recognises you and remembers your preferences.

Cookies used on the Solent University website

This is a list of the main cookies set by the Solent website, as well as other websites in the Solent domain that are linked to from the Solent website.  

First Party Cookies - These are cookies set by Solent University.


Cookie Name



Stores information about the session that is automatically created when you connect to a website built in ASP.NET. Session Cookie.


Google Analytics Cookie. This cookie is used to determine unique visitors to your site and it is updated with each page view. Additionally, this cookie is provided with a unique ID that Google Analytics uses to ensure both the validity and accessibility of the cookie as an extra security measure. Expires 2 years from set/update.


Google Analytics Cookie. This cookie is used to establish and continue a user session with your site. Each time a user visits a different page on your site, this cookie is updated to expire in 30 minutes, thus continuing a single session for as long as user activity continues within 30-minute intervals. This cookie expires when a user pauses on a page on your site for longer than 30 minutes.


Google Analytics Cookie. This cookie is no longer used by the ga.js tracking code to determine session status. Historically, this cookie operated in conjunction with the __utmb cookie to determine whether or not to establish a new session for the user. For backwards compatibility purposes with sites still using the urchin.js tracking code, this cookie will continue to be written and will expire when the user exits the browser. Session cookie.


Google Analytics Cookie. This cookie stores the type of referral used by the visitor to reach your site, whether via a direct method, a referring link, a website search, or a campaign such as an ad or an email link. It is used to calculate search engine traffic, ad campaigns and page navigation within your own site. The cookie is updated with each page view to your site. Expires 6 months from set/update.


Session cookie used by the jobs@solent recruitment tool.


Secure session cookie used by the jobs@solent recruitment tool to track your session.


Session cookie used by the jobs@solent recruitment tool to track what page you have just come from.


Advertising/retargeting cookies

Advertising cookies let us make advertising more engaging for our users using third party vendors. Some common applications of cookies are to select advertising based on what’s relevant to a user; to improve reporting on campaign performance and to avoid showing adverts that the user has already seen.

Retargeting cookies allow us to advertise to visitors to our websites via third party vendors. Third party vendors will show our adverts on sites across the internet and use cookies to serve adverts based on past visits to our websites.

Solent uses Google Display Advertising and you can learn more about what cookies Google uses here.

Solent uses Facebook Advertising and you can learn more about what cookies Facebook uses here.

If you wish to opt out of a third-party vendor’s use of cookies for interest-based advertising visit

Other third party cookies

To make your experience on the website more enriched we embed video and audio content from websites such as Vimeo, YouTube and SoundCloud. 

As a result, when you visit a page with content embedded from these websites you may be presented with cookies from these websites.

Please see the websites' individual cookie policies for more information.

Flash Cookies

If you have Adobe Flash installed on your computer (over 95% of us have a flash plug-in in our browsers) then you will have Flash Cookies stored on your computer (also called Local Shared Objects (LSO)). These work by storing information in a similar way to normal cookies.

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