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Cookies & Site Security

Here we explain what cookies may be set when you visit the SOS web site and how to manage your cookie settings.

This page should be read in conjunction with the main Sound On Sound Privacy Policy.

Under EU law we are obliged to disclose to all site users information about the use of cookies on our web site. All users within the EU zone who browse our web site must be provided with the option to switch off cookies from our site. It is your choice whether or not to do this and you may switch them on and off at any point in time.

What is a Cookie?

Most web sites store information in a small text file, called a Cookie, on your hard drive. Cookies typically contain information about you and your preferences for the web site you are visiting, so that the site can customise the web pages you see the next time you visit or go back to a previously visited part of the site.

A cookie can only store information you provide during your visit, based on the choices you make. A site cannot capture your email address unless you send it to the site, in a web form, for example. Allowing a web site to create a cookie does not give the site access to the rest of your computer, and only the site that created the cookie can read it. Credit card information is never stored in cookies.

Manage and delete Cookies

SOS does not use cookies to collect personally identifiable information about you. However, if you wish to block the cookies which are set by our web site, or indeed any other web site, you can do this through your browser settings. See the Help function within your browser for information on how to do this. Alternatively, visit which contains comprehensive information on how to do this on a wide variety of browsers. You will also find details there on how to delete cookies.

Please be aware that restricting cookies may impact on the functionality of the SOS site.

How does SOS use Cookies?

The SOS site keeps the use of cookies to an absolute minimum. Please be aware that switching cookies off will impair your use of our web site because certain web technology can only work with cookies.

Here is a list of cookies we set:

Cookie Name

Cookie Explanation

Used for logged-in users, to manage their SOS Forum access. Destroyed when the session times out or at logout.
SESS[lots of characters] Essential to managing the user experience, allowing users to log in and/or use the SOS Shop. Deleted when the session times out or at logout.
STYXKEY_region This cookie allows us to show you regional content and product/subscription prices relevant to your physical location (obtained from your IP address).
PHP session: PHPSESSID Used by NonLinear Educating (NLE) for the SOS Video Tutorials portal.
Drupal.visitor.ps_uid Used for access to our Replica digital magazine.
cfduid, plus 2 with random, long names Used by NonLinear Educating (NLE) for the SOS Video Tutorials portal.
Google AdManager cookie: gads Like many sites we use Google's AdManager ad-serving engine to deliver web banners onto SOS pages. This cookie is used to determine which adverts to serve, based on your browsing habits and whether or not you have already been shown certain banners. For more information see Google settings and also Google ad privacy.
Google Analytics cookies: utma, utmt, utmb, utmc, utmz, utmv, ga, gat, gid We use these to track the use of our site to help us determine which content is popular and where the traffic comes from around the world. This is an anonymous cookie and does not collect any user personal information. The Information Commission considers this to present a low level of intrusiveness or risk of harm. See the Google site for further information.
cookieControl A cookie to tell us whether you opted to use cookies or not. Yes, it's a bizarre EU cookie law! You can delete this cookie yourself if ever you wish to revoke the use of cookies on our site.

Cookies set by Third Party sites

We sometimes embed videos from web sites such as YouTube. As a result you may be presented with cookies from these web sites. SOS does not control the dissemination of these cookies, so please check the third party site for more information.

Login benefits

Whenever you fill in web forms, many sites store such information in a cookie on your computer and use it to automatically populate similar forms the next time you visit. The downside of this approach is that anyone else with access to your computer's browser might be able to masquerade as you when visiting that same site. To prevent this and to maximise security, the SOS site utilises a Registration / Login system instead.

You only need to register once on the main SOS site. You can volunteer to register at any time — just click the Register link at the top of any SOS web page. If you ever elect to subscribe, enter an SOS Competition, submit your own Readers' Ads, or purchase goods from the SOS Shop, it will be necessary to supply us with your personal contact details so that we know where to send your prize, shop order or magazine subscription, and when to unlock the subscribers-only premium content on the site. This information is transmitted in encrypted format and stored on our secure servers, not in a cookie, in a personalised area called 'My Account'. We do not store credit card data.

You login using the Email address or Username you entered on the My Account registration form, plus your chosen Password. Your password is hidden from onlookers while you type it and you can change it as many times as you like. If you forget it, there's a password reminder link in the Login box on every page. SOS administrators cannot view your password but they have the power to overwrite your password if you really get stuck! Clicking the logout link will log you out of the SOS site.

Our aim at SOS is to make your visits to the site as frequent and as pleasurable as possible. Your confidentiality and privacy are both assured and respected at all times.

Site security

We take privacy and confidentiality seriously, that's why the Sound On Sound web site uses 256-bit SSL encryption via Secure HTTP (https:) pages anywhere that private information or credit card data is required to be submitted by a user of the site.

When you register with the SOS site (or become a subscriber or shopper) you create a unique My Account record for yourself. All transmission of sensitive data to and from the SOS site (such as when you update your My Account information, buy something in our Shop, change passwords, address details and such-like) takes place within a secure, 2048-bit encrypted, environment. Your browser should display a locked/closed padlock icon in its status bar whenever Secure HTTP connections are being used. Where forms are used for you to submit data to the site, the locked padlock helps you identify such pages. PC users may verify the security of any web page by right-clicking on such pages and selecting "Properties" from the pop-up menu. The resulting window explains what level of encryption is being used on that page.

Security certificates

Let's Encrypt logoThe main SOS site, including the online Shop, has been issued with a security certificate by Let’s Encrypt™ a service provided by the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG) validating our permission to transmit personal data such as credit card numbers and addresses digitally in a recognised encrypted format across the Internet from our domains.

SOS Publications Ltd is registered under the Data Protection Act, registration reference: Z7317112.

If you have any concerns about security or our use of your personal data, we are happy to explain things directly to you. Please contact us using the form on this page

E&OE. Last updated 16 November 2023.