As a rule, cookies will make your browsing experience better. However, you may prefer to disable cookies on this site and on others. The most effective way to do this is to disable cookies in your browser. We suggest consulting the Help section of your browser or taking a look at the About Cookies website which offers guidance for all modern browsers.
Some cookies we use are for signed in users and for commenters. When you sign into the website, we store the following two cookies:
- Your user name
- A double-hashed copy of your password
The cookies are set to expire two weeks from the time they are set.
The actual cookies contain hashed data, so you don’t have to worry about someone gleaning your username and password by reading the cookie data. A hash is the result of a specific mathematical formula applied to some input data (in this case your user name and password, respectively). It’s quite hard to reverse a hash (bordering on practical infeasibility with today’s computers). This means it is very difficult to take a hash and “unhash” it to find the original input data.
We use the two cookies to bypass the password entry process. If we recognize that you have valid, non-expired cookies, you go directly to the signed in interface. If you don’t have the cookies, or they’re expired, or in some other way invalid (like you edited them manually for some reason), we will require you to sign in again, in order to obtain new cookies.
When visitors comment on our news, they too get cookies stored on their computer. This is purely a convenience, so that the visitor won’t need to re-type all their information again when they want to leave another comment. Three cookies are set for commenters:
The commenter cookies are set to expire a little under one year from the time they’re set.
The cookie notification banner also uses a cookie to determine whether to show the banner or not; the user having already acknowledged it. This cookie is retained for 30 days.