Rev Derek Corner, minister at Hamilton United Reformed Church, has modified his congregation’s website so that it meets rules recently introduced by the European Commission on the use of internet “cookies” and offers the following advice for other churches.
Derek writes: “We do not need to delve too deeply into what cookies are, other than to state that they are small documents, usually text files, which most sites you visit place on your computer hard-drive. These help website keep track of who has visited them; and helps you when revisiting a site. They are generally harmless.
“New European Commission regulations state that users of websites must be made aware that visiting a site may place cookies onto their computer.
“There are two ways to satisfy the legislation, as far as I am aware. Either, you can put a statement to the fact that your site may place cookies on their computer – and this should appear on every page of your site. Or, you can download a plug-in to your site that opens as soon as anyone visits. This asks the visitor to click a button before proceeding to view you site, which acknowledges they are aware of the possibility of your site using cookies. It is useful to have a page on ‘Cookies and security’ for visitors to check, if they wish.
“The easiest way to review this situation is to visit www.civicuk.com, which give a lot of help – and for those of us who use WordPress for our sites, there are a few handy downloadable plug-ins. It is also useful to direct users to this site, as it give information on how to block or remove cookies from your own computer.”
Photograph courtesy of www.picdrome.com