What is a cookie?
A cookie is a small file of letters and numbers which is saved by a website to your computer or mobile device and is used to record specific pieces of information. Cookies often include an anonymised, unique identifier, meaning that data it records can be distinguished as coming from a separate place to other data, without revealing your personal information. When you visit a website, it asks permission to store a cookie in the cookies section of your hard drive.
Cookies are widely used on the internet to make websites work, to make them work more efficiently, or to provide information about your usage of the site to the site owner or other third parties. For example, if you add items to a shopping basket, a cookie allows the website to remember what items you’re buying, or if you log in to a website, a cookie may recognise you later on so that you don’t have to put in your password again.
Please be aware that restricting cookies may have an impact on the functionality of our website.
Different types of cookies
Some cookies, known as “session cookies”, are stored only for the duration of your visit to a particular website. “Persistent cookies” but others can be stored in the cookie file of your browser for longer periods of time – sometimes until you clear your browser’s cache manually, depending on the lifetime of the specific cookie.
A third-party cookie is one that is associated with a different domain or website than the one that you visit. For example, on this site, we use third-party cookies built by Google to enable website analytics, but as our site is not on the Google domain, this makes their cookies “third-party” cookies.
The Google Analytics cookie will recognise and count the number of people who visit our site, as well as providing other information such as how long visitors stay, where they move to on our site, and what pages receive the most visits. We cannot directly control how Google cookies behave, and the information they retrieve is delivered to a Google Analytics account, not to our website, which is why they are third-party: the information about this site is delivered to another website.
In using Google Analytics cookies, it is our responsibility to ensure that you have access to the following information:
Using cookies for advertising
Cookies can make advertising more effective, helping us to reach our target audience and understand how well our campaigns are working. Cookies can also prevent you from seeing the same ad over and over again, which will help improve your experience browsing the web.
For further reading about cookies usage, your rights, and how to control or delete cookies, we have collected the following resources:
- the Information Commissioner’s Office cookies information for public users
- the BBC’s WebWise information service pages about cookies
- information about the types of cookies that Google use
- AboutCookies.org’s advice on controlling cookies and deleting cookies.