Cookie Policy

Like the vast majority of modern websites, the SMC site makes use of web ‘cookies’ (and other similar technologies). Cookies are small files that our system places on your computer (or other device), and can be used for a variety of purposes – typically, they allow us to identify whether or not you’ve visited the site before, and thereby allow our system to do things like track the number of different visitors our site receives, or personalise the site for you. Cookies can also be used to enable particular functionality, like remembering data that you have entered into the site, so that you don’t have to enter the same information every time you visit.

You may have heard a distinction made between ‘first party’ and ‘third party’ cookies. First party cookies are cookies that are set directly by our website. Third party cookies are ones that are set by other websites as a result of the fact that we use their services on our site. We can’t directly control the cookies placed by 3rd parties, but we do choose our 3rd party services carefully, and only use ones that we trust.

You can use the settings/controls on your web browser to determine whether you are prepared to accept cookies being set on your computer – but please bear in mind that if you do block the cookies on our site, it is possible that some areas of the site will not work properly.

So, that’s how cookies work in general terms. Below you can find more detail of the first and third party cookies that may be set on your computer when you visit our website.

First Party Cookies

Cookie Description
_ga Google Analytics – used to distinguish users
_gid Google Analytics – used to distinguish users
_gat Google Analytics – used to throttle request rate
wfwaf-authcookie-(hash) Security – used by our firewall software to detect logged in users
WordPress_[hash] Logged in users only – stores your login authentication details
WordPress_logged_in_[hash] Logged in users only – indicates when you are logged in
wordpress_test_cookie Used to check whether the browser is set to accept or reject cookies
PHPSESSID Used to uniquely identify your particular browsing session, and required for our online booking system to work properly. Does not enable us to identify you personally. Expires at the end of your session.
__stripe_mid, __stripe_sid Set by our payment provider, Stripe, in order to facilitate online payments via our website, but without storing any payment details on our servers.

Third party cookies

We use the following third party services on the SMC website, each of which may set cookies via their own domains:

  • PayPal: we offer PayPal as one of the available online payment methods.
  • Stripe: we offer the ability to pay online via debit and credit cards, and that facility is provided by Stripe.
  • YouTube: we include some embedded YouTube videos on our site, and cookies may be set when you view those videos
  • Google Analytics: used for tracking and measuring anonymous information about visitors to the website
  • Fontawesome: this is an online service that allows us to use some cool visual elements (such as icons) on our website