There's a lot of misinformation about cookies floating around the
internet. Some of the more ridiculous claims are that cookies allow
people to view things that are on your hard drive, or to get personal
information from you against your will. Neither could be further
from the truth. In reality, cookies are tools that help us help
Cookies are critical to us because the Web page you're reading
right now isn't on our server. It's in your browser. Although it
seems as if you are in Petsafe.com.au, you've actually called
up a snapshot of our site. Because the page essentially "died"
when you called it into your browser, we need some way to keep the
interactive conversation going. A cookie allows that to happen.
Our cookies are not used to gain any secret information from your
browser (a myth and, at this point in time, not even possible) and
they do not hog your disk space.
In the spirit of openness and honesty, let's go over how we are
using cookies on our site.
On the first visit to any page on our site we try to write out
a temporary cookie with the word "Welcome" in it. If you
accept that cookie, we then overwrite it with a permanent one on
the next page you go to. The things we put into this cookie are
as follows: a random unique string, today's date, and your user
name once you login or register. That's it, pretty simple. Once
all this is done, we don't touch the cookie anymore or try to send
you anymore. There are a few exceptions to this, like ads and the
search results pages, which also write a few cookies.
So, what does this much maligned little fellow look like? Here
is what an average Petsafe.com.au cookie looks like:
FIRSTVISIT=1/5/99 10:23:27 PM
What good is all this? A number of things. It allows us to not
waste precious Web page space promoting the virtues of registering
for our site if you already have. It also helps us know how many
unique visitors come to our site. This is very important for the
Marketing people as well as for our user interface people.
Some other notes: Our cookies can only be read by our site, no
other site can read them. We can put nothing in them that you have
not already told us about yourself, for example, your user name.
Our cookie is about 150 bytes long, making it smaller probably than
any graphic that your browser has downloaded, or about 1/10th the
size of this message. We can use up to twenty cookies, but have
chosen to keep things lean and neat with one or two cookies. In
fact, if you have ever had one of our old cookies, we delete it
when setting the new one, in effect cleaning up after ourselves.
We hope this information helps you understand cookies, and we hope
that you will turn cookies on in your browser so that our Web site
can be a better experience for you. You can always turn on cookie
prompts so that you can see exactly what is being written and when.
Cookies get a whole lot of bad press (often by companies that want
to sell you some kind of anti-cookie software), but in fact are
We hope you enjoy Petsafe.com.au, and we hope that you'll agree
that the benefits of cookies outweigh the inconveniences. Please
know that Petsafe.com.au will never willfully disclose individually
identifiable information about its customers to any third party
without first receiving that customer's permission.
We hope our explanation makes some good sense to you. For more
on cookies, here's a helpful Q&A put together by Netscape: What
Are Cookies. If you have further concerns about this or any
other privacy issues, please send mail to Petsafe.com.au or feel
free to read our privacy statement.