Our cookie policy

Cookies are little text files stored on your computer. This policy looks at some of the ways we use them and what that means for you.

What are cookies?

A cookie is a piece of information, like a tag, that's stored on your computer, tablet or phone when you visit a website. It can help identify your device – like your PC or mobile phone – whenever you visit that website.

To make the best use of our website, on whichever device you use, you'll need to make sure your web browser is set to accept cookies. Cookies serve lots of purposes. Mainly they make our website work better by providing information about how people interact with it. That includes what device you use and what content you've read. They also support some site functions like:

  • remembering your site settings and accessibility preferences
  • supporting some of the content we use on the site, like video and interactive elements
  • helping you log in.

Does the MS Society use cookies?

Yes, we do. All cookies used across our site are anonymous. Where we do ask for data that can identify you personally, for example when making a donation, we ask for your consent and keep this data securely. See our privacy notice for more information on how we store data.

In general terms there are two types of cookies, first party and third party.

  • First party cookies are served directly to your computer from our website and are often used to remember your preferences for using our site.

    For example, if you register or sign in to the MS Forum and accept cookies, we’ll use a cookie to remember who you are, so you don't need to log in again next time you visit. More on this in our How do I manage my cookies section.

  • Third party cookies work in the same way as first party cookies, but are served by a third party on behalf of the website operator (the MS Society). Third party cookies are most commonly used for website analytics and advertising purposes.

    We use Google Analytics across our websites. It's a web analytics service provided by Google, Inc. (“Google”), to understand what people do when they visit our site so we can provide a better experience for them. Some of our pages contain embedded content like YouTube videos, or embedded posts from other social media channels, and you may receive cookies from these websites.

We don't govern the publication of third party cookies. To understand more about these cookies and privacy statements, please visit the website they come from.

What information do we collect?

You can choose not to accept cookies and use our website anonymously without giving us any information. More on this in our How do I manage my cookies section.

If you do accept cookies on our website, we may collect some, or all, of this information, depending on how you use the website. We monitor how people use our website so we can improve it. We collect this information anonymously.

Information we may collect includes (but isn’t limited to):

  • the areas of the website you visit
  • the amount of time you spend on the site
  • whether you're new to the site, or have visited it before
  • how you came to our website – for example, through an email link or a search engine
  • the type of device and browser you use
  • how you use the website and the quality of your experience – for example we may track your bandwidth when viewing videos
  • your journey from a link between any of our websites, such as dmt-tool.msociety.org.uk or donate.msssociety.org.uk.

We use cookies to track how donors come to our site. For example, we use tracking codes in our internet addresses (URLs) to show us where a donation came from and to give us insight into the effectiveness of our marketing material. Some of this will be used by third party cookies to target you with relevant advertising. More information on targeting cookies in the Cookie categories section.

Although not through cookies, we do measure the success of the emails we send, so we know what subject lines and stories people liked the most. We receive this information anonymously and we don’t share this information.

How do I manage my cookies?

When you visit our site for the first time you can manage your cookies with our cookie consent tool. It will remember your preferences for 12 months or until you delete or disable cookies in your browser.

However, if you disable all cookies please note that some bits of our websites may not work as intended. For example, you might not be able to log in so easily or use our online shopping or donation functions.

How do I disable cookies in my browser?

You can also disable cookies using your internet browser  settings.

You can change your internet browser controls to block certain cookies, or notify you when one is set.

To find out more about settings in your browser, check your browser's help menu or the instructions below for:

Cookie categories

The cookies are categorised in the ICC Cookie Guide. We've outlined the categories our cookies fall into below:

  1. Strictly necessary cookies. These cookies are essential in order to enable you to move around the website and use its features, such as accessing secure areas of the website. Without these cookies, services you've asked for, like shopping baskets or e-billing, can't be provided. These cookies can't be switched off in our cookie consent tool.

    Cookies we use:  OptanonConsent – cookie preference tool, Auth0 for login, JSession for an anonymous user session for donating, AWS for balancing website traffic, Cloudflare to help protect our site from malicious activity.

The following cookies can be managed with our cookie consent tool when you first visit our website, or delete your browser cookies.

  1. Performance cookies. These cookies collect information about how visitors use a website, for instance which pages visitors go to most often, and if they get error messages from web pages. These cookies don’t collect information that identifies a visitor. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. It's only used to improve how a website works. You can always opt-out of Google Analytics cookies by using Google’s opt-out tool.

    Cookies we use:  Google Tag Manager, Google Analytics and Hotjar provide us with insights into user behaviour to help us improve our website.

  2. Functional cookies. These cookies allow the website to remember choices you make (such as your username, language or the region you're in) and provide enhanced, more personal features. These cookies can also be used to remember changes you've made to text size, fonts and other parts of web pages you can customise. They may also be used to provide services you've asked for, such as watching a video or commenting on a blog. The information these cookies collect may be anonymised and they can't track your browsing activity on other websites. By not consenting to functional cookies on our website you may have to re-enter login details, or information you've provided, such as a postcode to search for local services.

    Cookies we use:  Stripe for card payments, Acquia Lift for personalisation.

  3. Targeting or advertising cookies. These cookies are used to deliver adverts more relevant to you and your interests They're also used to limit the number of times you see an advertisement as well as help measure the effectiveness of the advertising campaigns. They're usually placed by advertising networks with the website operator’s permission. They remember that you've visited a website and this information is shared with other organisations such as advertisers. Quite often, targeting or advertising cookies will be linked to site functionality provided by the other organisation.

    Cookies we use:  Google Ads conversion, Google dynamic remarketing, Doubleclick, Facebook custom audience, Facebook pixel, Twitter universal pixel, YouTube and Bing are used to deliver targeted advertising based on user behaviour.

Web analytics

We use Google Analytics, a service provided by Google to measure the performance of our website.

Google may also transfer this information to third parties where required to do so by law, or where such third parties process the information on Google's behalf. For more details please read Google’s Analytics overview and Google's Privacy and Terms.

You can always opt-out of Google Analytics cookies by Google’s opt-out tool.