What is a cookie?
A cookie is a text file that contains a small amount of information, which is downloaded to the browser on your computer or mobile phone (referred to here as a "device") from a website's computer and is stored on your device's hard drive. Each website can send its own cookie to your browser if your browser's preferences allow it. To protect your privacy, your browser only permits a website to access the cookies it has already sent to you, not the cookies sent to you by other websites.
When you visit a website, it will check to see if its cookie(s) are on your hard drive. Cookies do lots of different jobs like letting you navigate between pages efficiently, remembering your preferences and generally improving your user experience. They are also useful as they can help companies check online traffic flow.
Users have the opportunity to set their devices to accept all cookies, to notify them when a cookie is issued, or not to receive cookies at any time. If you choose not to receive cookies at any time, it means that certain personalised features may not be provided to you, so you may not be able to take full advantage of all the website's features. Each browser is different, so check the "Help" menu of your browser to learn how to change your cookie preferences.
Are cookies dangerous?
No. Cookies are small pieces of text. They are not computer programs, and they can't be executed as code. Also, they cannot be used to spread viruses, and the latest version of Microsoft Internet Explorer and other browsers allow users to set their own limits on the number of cookies saved on their hard drives.
Can cookies threaten a user’s privacy?
Although cookies are stored on the computer's hard drive they cannot access it - so a cookie can't read other information saved on the hard drive, or get a user's e-mail address, etc. They only contain as much information as the users themselves have disclosed to a certain website and this information is transferred to the server.
A server cannot set a cookie for a domain (website) that it is not a member of. However, users quite often find cookies in their computer files from websites that they have never visited. These cookies are usually set by companies that sell internet advertising on behalf of other websites. Therefore, it may be possible that a user’s information is passed to third party web sites without the user’s knowledge or consent, such as information on internet surfing habits. This is the most common reason for people rejecting or fearing cookies.
Information supplied by cookies can help us to analyse the profile of our visitors and provide you with a better user experience.
What are our cookies?
Our Cookies list identifies the main cookies that our website puts on your computer and what each is used for.
What cookies do we use on our website?
We use the following types of cookies on our website:
Strictly necessary cookies (Category 1) – these are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.
Analytical/performance cookies (Category 2) – these cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works, for example, by ensuring that users are finding what they are looking for easily.
Functionality cookies (Category 3) – these cookies are used to recognise you when you return to our website. This enables us to personalise our content for you and remember your preferences (such as text size).
Targeting cookies (Category 4) - 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.]
Except for essential cookies, all cookies will expire after one year.
What are third party cookies?
How to disable cookies
You may block cookies by activating the setting on your browser that allows you to refuse the setting of all or some cookies. However, if you use your browser settings to block all cookies (including essential cookies) you may not be able to access all or parts of our website and other websites that you visit.
Want to know more?
You may wish to visit websites, which contain 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 computer as well as more general information about cookies on one of the websites below:
For information on how to do this on the browser, visit Cookies & You.