What are cookies?
A "cookie" is a piece of information that is stored on your computer's hard drive and which records your navigation of a website so that, when you revisit that website, it can present tailored options based on the information stored about your last visit. Cookies can also be used to analyse traffic and for advertising and marketing purposes.
Cookies are used by nearly all websites and do not harm your system. If you want to check or change what types of cookies you accept, this can usually be altered within your browser settings.
How do we use them?
We use them to track your activity to help ensure you get the smoothest possible experience when visiting our website.
1. To track your use of our website. This enables us to understand how you use the site and track any patterns that emerge individually or from larger groups. This helps us to develop and improve our website and services in response to what our visitors need.
2. To personalise your experience of using the website and help us advertise properties to you that we think you'll be interested in. Hopefully this means less time for you trawling through endless pages meaning you'll get to what you want more quickly.
Cookies are either:
Session cookies: these are only stored on your computer during your web session and are automatically deleted when you close your browser – they usually store an anonymous session ID allowing you to browse a website without having to log in to each page but they do not collect any information from your computer; or
Persistent cookies: a persistent cookie is stored as a file on your computer and it remains there when you close your web browser. The cookie can be read by the website that created it when you visit that website again. We use persistent cookies for personalisation and for Google Analytics (see below).
Third party cookies
In addition to our own cookies, we work with carefully-selected third party services that may also set cookies when you visit our website - for example Google Analytics.
We use Google Analytics to help us see how visitors use our website - for example, which pages they look at and how long they spend on our website. No personally identifiable information is stored or tracked - it is all anonymous.
To opt out of being tracked by Google Analytics, visit http://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout.
All third party cookies adhere to the same standard as our own - importantly, no personally identifiable information is stored in cookies set by third parties.
How to reject cookies
If you don't want to receive cookies that are not strictly necessary to perform basic features of our site, you may choose to opt-out by changing your browser settings.
Most web browsers will accept cookies but if you would rather we didn’t collect data in this way you can choose to accept all or some, or reject cookies in your browser's privacy settings. However, rejecting all cookies means that you may not be able to take full advantage of all our website's features. Each browser is different, so check the "Help" menu of your browser to learn how to change your cookie preferences.
For more information generally on cookies, including how to disable them, please refer to aboutcookies.org or www.allaboutcookies.org.