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About this cookie:
This is one of the four main cookies set by the Google Analytics service which enables website owners to track visitor behaviour and measure site performance. It is not used in most sites but is set to enable interoperability with the older version of Google Analytics code known as Urchin. In this older versions this was used in combination with the __utmb cookie to identify new sessions/visits for returning visitors. When used by Google Analytics this is always a Session cookie which is destroyed when the user closes their browser. Where it is seen as a Persistent cookie it is therefore likely to be a different technology setting the cookie.
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Related general information about __utmc:
We don’t have enough information about this cookie or the website hosting it to be able to assign it to a category at this time. However, we are constantly updating our knowledge base, so do check back if you need to know more. If it is urgent then get in touch and maybe we can look into it for you.More about cookie classifications.
Third Party Cookies
If the host domain for a cookie is different to the one in the browser bar when it was downloaded, then it is a third party cookie.
They are usually placed in a website via scripts or tags added into the web page. Sometimes these scripts will also bring additional functionality to the site, such as enabling content to be shared via social networks.
For example, if you visit a site that has a YouTube video in one of its pages. This has been included by the website owner, using a piece of code provided by YouTube. YouTube will then be able to set cookies through this code, and know that you have watched that video, or even just visited the page the video is in.
Online advertising is the most common use of third party cookies. By adding their tags to a page, which may or may not display adverts, advertisers can track a user (or their device) across many of the websites they visit.
This allows them to build up a 'behavioural profile' of the user, which can then be used to target them with online ads based around their 'calculated' interests.
Session Cookies are only stored temporarily in the browser's memory, and are destroyed when it is closed down, although they will survive navigating away from the website they came from.
If you have to login to a website every time you open your browser and visit it - then it is using a session cookie to store your login credentials.
Many websites use session cookies for essential site functions, and to make sure pages are sent to the browser as quickly and efficiently as possible.