When we provide services, we want to make them easy, useful and reliable. Where services are delivered on the internet, this sometimes involves placing small amounts of information on your device, for example, computer or mobile phone. These include small text files known as cookies. They cannot be used to identify you personally, cannot carry viruses, or install malware.
What is a cookie?
A cookie is a piece of data sent to your device from a website. This means the website can recognise your device if you return to the same website. Cookies do not contain any personal information about you and cannot be used to identify an individual user. A cookie often includes a unique identifier, which is an anonymous number (randomly generated) and is stored on your device. Some expire at the end of your website session; others remain on your computer for longer.
These pieces of information are used to improve services for you through, for example:
- enabling a service to recognise your device so you don’t have to give the same information several times during one task, e.g. filling out a web form or a web survey
- recognising that you may already have given a username and password so you don’t need to do it for every web page
- measuring how many people are using services, so they can be made easier to use and there’s enough capacity to ensure they are fast
- analysing anonymised data to help us understand how people interact with the different aspects of our online services so we can make them better
You can manage these small files and learn more about them from this article, Internet Browser cookies- what they are and how to manage them.
For more information about cookies or if you would like to learn how to remove cookies set on your device, visit: http://www.aboutcookies.org
COOKIES USED ON THIS WEBSITE
This website uses both first and third party cookies. All the cookies on this site are identified below and categorized according to whether they are first or third party.
First party cookies
These are cookies set by our website.
Purpose: Session management. These are “session-based” cookies used in order to ensure the smooth running of users’ sessions. This classification includes remembering your selections or preferences that you’ve already made when looking at information or using a service
Benefit: To remember your selections or preferences that you’ve already made when looking at information or using a service on the site. To make it easier to log in again if you choose ‘Remember me’.
Third party cookies
Purpose: Web Analytics/metrics. This category comprises cookies used to evaluate site performance in terms of number of visits, unique visitors, drop-off rate for transactions etc. We measure numbers and volumes of visitors to different parts of our site and this helps us ensure the service is fast and available when you want it. It also helps us ensure that different pages on our site are useful and easy to find.
Benefit: So service is available when you want it and fast.
Google analytics cookie information: http://code.google.com/apis/analytics/docs/concepts/gaConceptsCookies.html
Google uses Remarketing cookies – both first party (such as Google Analytics) and third party (such as DoubleClick) – to serve more relevant adverts to users who have previously visited our website, as they browse other websites. To opt-out from Google’s remarketing program, please edit your Google Ad Settings.
How to control and delete cookies
However, if you wish to restrict or block the cookies which are set by our websites, or indeed any other website, you can do this through your browser settings. The ‘Help’ function within your browser should tell you how.
Alternatively, you may wish to visit www.aboutcookies.org which contains comprehensive information on how to do this on a wide variety of browsers. You will also find details on how to delete cookies from your machine as well as more general information about cookies.
Please be aware that restricting cookies may impact on the functionality of our website.
If you wish to view a cookie’s code, just open your cookie file in your browser and click on a cookie to open it. You’ll see a short string of text and numbers. The numbers are your identification card, which can only be seen by the server that gave you the cookie.
For information on how to do this on the browser of your mobile phone you will need to refer to your handset manual.
To opt-out of third-parties collecting any data about your interaction on our website, please refer to their websites for further information.