What is a cookie?
Like most sites, we use technologies that are essentially small data files placed on your computer, tablet, mobile phone, or other devices (referred to collectively as a “device”) that allow us to record certain pieces of information whenever you visit or interact with our website, and to recognize you across devices.
The specific names and types of the cookies, web beacons, unique identifiers, and similar technologies we use to collect information (e.g. about the pages you view, the links you click, and other actions you take on our website.
We collect a number of cookies from our users for various reasons, not least to track our own performance – but also to let us serve you content tailored to your own specifications, hopefully improving your overall experience of the site. Amongst other things, the cookies we use allow users to register to make comments, allow us to calculate how many visitors we have – anonymously, of course – and how long they stay on our site.
What types of cookie are there and which ones do we use?
There are two types of cookie:
- Persistent cookies remain on a user’s device for a set period of time specified in the cookie. They are activated each time that the user visits the website that created that particular cookie.
- Session cookies are temporary. They allow website operators to link the actions of a user during a browser session. A browser session starts when a user opens the browser window and finishes when they close the browser window. Once you close the browser, all session cookies are deleted.
Cookies also have, broadly speaking, four different functions and can be categorised as follows: ‘strictly necessary’ cookies, ‘performance’ cookies, ‘functionality’ cookies and ‘targeting’ or ‘advertising’ cookies.
Strictly necessary cookies are essential to navigate around a website and use its features. Without them, you wouldn’t be able to use basic services like registration or shopping baskets. These cookies do not gather information about you that could be used for marketing or remembering where you’ve been on the internet.
Examples of how we use ‘strictly necessary’ cookies include: Setting unique identifiers for each unique visitor, so site numbers can be analysed.
Performance cookies collect anonymous data for statistical purposes on how visitors use a website, they don’t contain personal information, and are used to improve your user experience of a website.
Here are some examples of how we use performance cookies: Gathering data about visits to the Website, including numbers of visitors and visits, length of time spent on the site, pages clicked on or where visitors have come from.
For comparison with other websites using data collected by industry-accepted measurement and research companies.
Information supplied by performance cookies helps us to understand how you use the Website; for example, whether or not you have visited before, what you looked at or clicked on and how you found us. We can then use this data to help improve our services.
Functionality cookies allow users to customise how a website looks for them: they can remember usernames, language preferences and regions, and can be used to provide more personal services like local weather reports and traffic news.
Advertising and targeting cookies are used to deliver advertisements more relevant to you, but can also limit the number of times you see an advertisement, and be used to chart the effectiveness of an ad campaign by tracking users’ clicks. They can also provide security in transactions. They are usually placed by third-party advertising networks with a website operator’s permission, but can be placed by the operator themselves. They can remember that you have visited a website, and this information can be shared with other organisations, including other advertisers. They cannot determine who you are though, as the data collected is never linked to your profile.
You can choose to have your device warn you each time a cookie is being sent, or you can choose to turn off all cookies. Most browsers also provide functionality that lets you review and erase cookies. You do this through your browser settings. If you turn cookies off, you won’t have access to many features that make your guest experience more efficient and some of our services will not function properly.
To find out more about cookies, including how to see what cookies have been set and how to manage and delete them, visit https://allaboutcookies.org/.