What are Cookies?
Cookies are data files which are stored on a user’s computer which hold a small amount of data specific to the user and the website. They can be used for a range of different purposes, such as customising a website for a particular user, helping a user navigate a website, improving that user’s website experience, and storing that user’s preferences and login information.
Cookies can be classified as either ‘essential’ or ‘non-essential’.
These are automatically placed on your computer or device when you access our website and are either:
- used solely to carry out or facilitate the transmission of communications over a network; or
- strictly necessary to provide an online service (e.g. our website or a service on our website) which you have requested.
These are any cookies placed on your computer with your consent (provided by continuing to use our website with your browser settings set to accept cookies) and that do not fall within the definition of essential cookies. Examples of non-essential cookies we use on our website are:
- Functional cookies g. which record information about the choices you have made and enhance a websites functionality.
- Analytical cookies e.g. to track and gather data about our users
Session and persistent cookies
Cookies can be classified as either ‘session’ or ‘persistent’, depending on how long they last after they are placed on your browser.
Session cookies: session cookies last for as long as you keep your browser open. They are normally deleted when you close your browser.
Persistent cookies: persistent cookies expire at a fixed point in time or if and when you manually delete them from your browser, whichever occurs first.
How to accept or reject cookies
There are a number of different ways in which you can accept or reject some or all cookies. Some of the main methods of doing so are described below.
- You can stop your browser from accepting cookies. However, you may find that aspects of our website will stop working or work less well if you do. We therefore do not recommend turning cookies off when using our website.
- Your cookie settings can be changed. A web browser usually allows you to do this in the ‘preferences’.
- To opt out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites, you can visit http://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout.
- The Internet Advertising Bureau website (Your Online Choices) which you can visit at youronlinechoices.com/uk/ allows you to install opt-out cookies across different advertising networks.
You should be aware that clearing all cookies from your browser will also delete any cookies that are storing your preferences, for example, whether you have accepted cookies on a website or any cookies that are blocking other cookies.
To find out more about cookies, to see what cookies have been set and how to delete them, visit www.allaboutcookies.org.