Cookies are small text files that websites save locally to your computer which allow sites to store and use information during your visit. They can improve your experience when using a website by:
- Remembering preferences, so you don’t have to keep re-entering your choices when you visit again
- Measuring how you use a site, so that changes can be made to ensure it meets your needs
You can set your browser to refuse all cookies or to indicate when a cookie is being sent; however some website features or services may not function properly without cookies.
Cookie files are automatically lodged into the cookie file (memory of your browser) and each one typically contains:
- The name of the server the cookie was sent from
- The lifetime of the cookie
- A value - usually a randomly generated unique number
The website server which sent the cookie uses this number to recognise you when you return to a site or browse from page to page. Only the server that sent a cookie can read, and therefore use, that cookie.
There are different types of cookies:
Session cookies - Session cookies enable the website you are visiting to keep track of your movement from page to page so you don't get asked for the same information you've already given to the site. These are temporary and are erased when you close your browser at the end of your session. The next time you visit that particular site it will not recognise you and will treat you as a completely new visitor as there is nothing in your browser to let the site know that you have visited.
Persistent cookies - A persistent cookie enables a website to remember you on subsequent visits, speeding up or enhancing your experience of services or functions offered. These remain on your hard drive until you erase them or they expire. How long a cookie remains on your browser depends on how long the visited website has programmed the cookie to last. Such cookies will only expire on the expiration date and can remain on your computer even when you have ended the web session or closed your browser window.
First party cookies: these are our own cookies, controlled by us and used to provide information about usage of our site.
Third party cookies: these are cookies found in other companies’ internet tools which we are using to enhance our site; for example Facebook or Twitter have their own cookies, which are controlled by them.
To opt out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites, please visit http://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout.
Changing your cookie settings:
You can decide whether or not to accept cookies. Most web browsers allow some control of most cookies through the browser settings. To find out more about cookies, including how to see what cookies have been set, visit www.aboutcookies.org or www.allaboutcookies.org
To find out how to manage cookies on popular browsers, please see below:
To find information relating to other browsers not mentioned above, visit the browser developer's website.
Please note that by deleting our cookies or disabling future cookies you may not be able to access certain areas or features of our site.