What are cookies?
- Cookies are widely used tiny pieces of software (files) that are installed on a computer or mobile device when an individual visits a website.
- Windows Explorer, which is one of the main internet browsers, will usually store these files in a folder called ‘cookies’ in ‘documents and permissions’ on computers running Microsoft Windows.
- Cookies allow websites to recognise that a user on an individual computer has previously visited the site. The cookies save some information about that user for when they access the site again in the future.
Most browsers allow you to turn off cookies. To do this, look at the ‘help’ menu on your browser. Switching off cookies may restrict your use of the website and/or delay or affect the way in which it operates.
What types of cookies are there?
Broadly, there are 4 types of cookie:
- Performance cookies.These cookies collect anonymous information about users for the purpose of assessing the performance of a website. Common uses include well-known web analytics tools such as ‘Google Analytics’.
- Functionality cookies.These are cookies that automatically remember choices that users have previously made in order to improve their experience next time they visit a website. For example, where users select their preferred settings and layout.
- Targeting or Advertising cookies.These cookies are similar to performance cookies, in that they collect information about users’ behaviour. However, this information is used at individual user level to advertise products and services to users on the basis of the behavioural information collected.
Web beacons and other similar technologies
Clear gifs, web beacons, web bugs are tiny graphics with a unique identifier similar in function to cookies, and are used to track the movements of web users between pages and websites. Unlike cookies, which are cached on a user’s computer, clear gifs, web beacons and web bugs are embedded invisibly on web pages and are about the size of a single pixel.
We use these tracking technologies for a few general purposes like:
- To allow our site to function correctly.
- To understand how our site is functioning and to inform any improvements in performance and our services.
- To enhance your experience on our site and provide functionality that means for example you don’t have to re-enter your details each time you engage with our sites or to record what purchases you’ve made on our sites.
- To gather relevant data that helps us deliver marketing and advertising content relevant to your interests.
Your options when it comes cookies, web beacons and similar technologies
You can change your web browser’s settings to reflect your cookie preferences. Use these links to find out more information about cookie settings for these common browsers:
Also, you can opt out of third party advertising cookies at any time by visiting this page