Cookies and Tracking Devices
A cookie is a small text file that is stored on a user's computer for record-keeping purposes. We use both session ID cookies and persistent cookies on our websites and applications. We use session cookies to make it easier for you to navigate our site. A session ID cookie expires when you close your browser. We set a persistent cookie to only store your username, so you don't have to enter it more than once. Persistent cookies also enable us to track and target the interests of our users to enhance their experience. A persistent cookie remains on your hard drive for an extended period of time. You can remove persistent cookies by following directions provided in your Internet browser's "help" file. If you reject cookies, you may still use the Service, but your ability to use some areas, such as contests or surveys, will be limited.
We and our third party web analytics providers also employ a software technology called clear gifs (also known as web beacons or web bugs), that help us better manage content on the Service by informing us what content is effective. Clear gifs are tiny graphics with a unique identifier, similar in function to cookies, and are used to track the online movements of users. In contrast to cookies, which are stored on a user's computer hard drive, clear gifs are embedded invisibly on web pages and are about the size of the period at the end of this sentence. We do not tie the information gathered by clear gifs to our customers' personal information. We use clear gifs in our HTML-based emails to let us know which emails have been opened by recipients. This allows us to gauge the effectiveness of certain communications and the effectiveness of our marketing campaigns.