What are cookies?
A cookie is a small text file that stores Internet settings. Almost every website uses cookie technology. The cookie is downloaded by your Internet browser the first time you visit a website. The next time you visit this website, the cookie and the information in it are either sent back to the originating website (first-party cookies) or to another website to which it belongs (third-party cookies). By that, the website can detect that it has already been opened using this browser, and in some cases it will then vary the content it shows.
Some cookies are extremely useful because they can improve your user experience when you return to a website you have already visited. Cookies will remember your preferences, will know how you use the website, and will adapt the content you are shown so that it is more relevant to your personal interests and needs.
Cookies are either ‘session’ or ‘persistent’ cookies, depending on how long they are stored for:
- Session cookies are only stored for the duration of your visit to a website and are deleted from your device when you close your browser;
- Persistent cookies are saved on your device for a fixed period of time after the browser has closed and are activated each time you visit the website where the cookie was generated.
What sort of cookies do we use, and why?
- Strictly necessary cookies. These cookies are essential in order to enable you to move around the website and use its features. Without these cookies, some services cannot be provided.
- Analytical/performance cookies. These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works, for example, by ensuring that users find what they are looking for easily and ensuring continuous improvement to our customer journey.
- Functionality cookies. These cookies are used to recognise you when you return to our website. This enables us to personalise our content for you. It also allows for live chat support during your browsing experience.
- Targeting cookies. These cookies record your visit to our website, the pages you have visited and the links you have followed. We will use this information to make our website and the advertising displayed on it more relevant to your interests. We may also share this information with third parties for this purpose. These cookies allow you to share and send information to other websites.
- Marketing cookies. These cookies are used to deliver adverts and other communications more relevant to you and your interests. They are also used to limit the number of times you see an advertisement and to help measure the effectiveness of advertising campaigns. They remember whether you have visited a website or not, and this information can be shared with other organisations such as advertisers. Cookies for improving group targeting and advertising will often be linked to site functionality provided by other organisations.
What kind of information do we collect by using cookies?
When you visit our website, we may automatically collect the following types of information from you: Your internet protocol (IP) address, your login information, time zone setting, operating system and platform, information about your visits including the URL you came from, your country, the search terms you used in our website, products you viewed or searched, page response times, download errors, length of visits to certain pages, page interaction information, (such as scrolling, clicks, and mouse-overs) and the methods used to browse away from the page.
How to control and delete cookies
If you want to restrict or block the cookies we set, you can do this through your browser settings. The 'help' function within your browser should tell you how. It is important to note that if you change your settings and block certain cookies, you will not be able to take full advantage of some features of our site, and we might not be able to provide some features you have previously chosen to use.
Alternatively, you could visit www.aboutcookies.org, which contains comprehensive information on cookies on a wide variety of browsers. You'll also find details on how to delete cookies from your computer.