What are Cookies?
Cookies are files, often including unique identifiers, that are sent by web servers to web browsers, and which may then be sent back to the server each time the browser requests a page from the server.
Cookies can be used by web servers to identity and track users as they navigate different pages on a website, and to identify users returning to a website.
Cookies may be either “persistent” cookies or “session” cookies. A persistent cookie consists of a text file sent by a web server to a web browser, which will be stored by the browser and will remain valid until its set expiry date (unless deleted by the user before the expiry date). A session cookie, on the other hand, will expire at the end of the user session, when the web browser is closed.
Cookies on the website
We use both session cookies and persistent cookies on the website.
Cookies do not contain any information that personally identifies you, but personal information that we store about you may be linked, by us, to the information stored in and obtained from cookies. The cookies used on the website include those which are strictly necessary cookies for access and navigation, cookies that track usage (performance cookies), remember your choices (functionality cookies), and cookies that provide you with targeted content or advertising.
We may use the information we obtain from your use of our cookies for the following purposes:
- to recognise your computer when you visit the website
- to track you as you navigate the website, and to enable the use of any e-commerce facilities
to improve the website’s usability
- to analyse the use of the website in the administration of the website
- to personalise the website for you, including targeting advertisements which may be of particular interest to you.
Third party cookies
When you use the website, you may also be sent third party cookies. Our advertisers and service providers may send you cookies. They may use the information they obtain from your use of their cookies:
- to track your browser across multiple websites
- to build a profile of your web surfing
- to target advertisements which may be of particular interest to you.
Most browsers allow you to refuse to accept cookies. For example:
in Internet Explorer you can refuse all cookies by clicking “Tools”, “Internet Options”, “Privacy”, and selecting “Block all cookies” using the sliding selector;
in Firefox you can block all cookies by clicking “Tools”, “Options”, and un-checking “Accept cookies from sites” in the “Privacy” box.
in Google Chrome you can adjust your cookie permissions by clicking “Options”, “Under the hood”, Content Settings in the “Privacy” section. Click on the Cookies tab in the Content Settings. In Safari you can block cookies by clicking “Preferences”, selecting the “Privacy” tab and “Block cookies”.
Blocking all cookies will, however, have a negative impact upon the usability of many websites. If you block cookies, you may not be able to use certain features on the website (log on, access content, use search functions).
You can also delete cookies already stored on your computer:
in Internet Explorer, you must manually delete cookie files;
in Firefox, you can delete cookies by, first ensuring that cookies are to be deleted when you “clear private data” (this setting can be changed by clicking “Tools”, “Options” and “Settings” in the “Private Data” box) and then clicking “Clear private data” in the “Tools” menu.
in Google Chrome you can adjust your cookie permissions by clicking “Options”, “Under the hood”, Content Settings in the “Privacy” section. Click on the Cookies tab in the Content Settings.
in Safari you can delete cookies by clicking “Preferences”, selecting the “Privacy” tab and “Remove All Website Data”.
Obviously, doing this may have a negative impact on the usability of many websites.