What are cookies?
Cookies are small text files that web servers give to browsers to store on users’ machines (computers, tablets or mobile devices). They enable the website to recognise requests as coming from the same browser. Cookies are designed to allow the website to recognise its users on subsequent visits, or to authorise other designated websites to recognise these users for a particular purpose. Cookies can be essential for the operation of an application or to improve the user experience. They can also be used to track user behaviour.
What types of cookies do we use?
We use four types of cookies:
- Essential: cookies that are essential to provide you with services you have requested. If you set your browser to block these cookies, then these functions and services will not work for you. In particular, we won’t be able to save your preferences about cookies.
- Performance: cookies which measure how often you visit our sites and how you use them. We use this information to get a better sense of how our users engage with our website and to improve our sites and apps, so that users have a better experience. For example, we collect information about which of our pages are most frequently visited and by which types of users. We may also use third-party cookies to help with performance (for example, the Google Analytics cookie gives us information such as your journey between pages and whether you have downloaded anything (details of how to opt out of it are below)).
- Functionality: cookies that are used to recognise you and remember your preferences or settings when you return to our site, so that we can provide you with a more personalised experience. A mix of first-party and third-party cookies are used here.
- Advertising: cookies that are used to collect information about your visit to our site, the content you have viewed, the links you have followed and information about your browser, device and your internet protocol (IP) address.
By clicking “OK” or “Accept”, a permanent cookie will be set on your machine to remember your preference, subject to you managing and changing your cookie settings (see “Managing cookies” below).
In your web browser (for example, Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox or Apple Safari), you can control which types of cookies you allow. Most browsers accept cookies automatically, but you can alter the settings of your browser to erase cookies or prevent automatic acceptance if you prefer. You can turn cookies on or off using your browser’s settings and you can also delete cookies and clear your browser’s cache (also known as your internet viewing history). Visit the ‘Options’ or ‘Preferences’ menu on your browser to change settings, and check the following links for more browser-specific information:
- Google Chrome: https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/95647?hl=en
- Microsoft Internet Explorer: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/17442/windows-internet-explorer-delete-manage-cookies
- Mozilla Firefox: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/cookies-information-websites-store-on-your-computer?redirectlocale=en-US&redirectslug=Cookies
The Information Commissioner has also provided guidance: https://ico.org.uk/your-data-matters/online/cookies/.
Google Advertising cookies
We may use Google Ads Cookies to track and record events on our website and apps for analytics, audience creation and retargeting of adverts. For further information, see https://policies.google.com/technologies/ads?hl=en.
We may use Twitter Pixel to track and record events on our websites for analytics, audience creation and retargeting of adverts. For further information, see Twitter’s privacy statement (https://twitter.com/en/privacy).