Cookies are small files that are sent to your web browser and stored on your computer’s hard drive. The file contains an identifier (a string of letters and numbers) that is sent by a web server to a web browser and is stored by the browser.
This identifier is then sent back to the server each time the browser requests a page from the server.
Cookies may be either “persistent” cookies or “session” cookies: a persistent cookie will be stored by a web browser and will remain valid until its set expiry date, unless deleted by the user before the expiry date; a session cookie, on the other hand, will expire at the end of the user session, when the web browser is closed.
We use both session and persistent cookies on our website.
They cannot be used to identify you.
There are two specific types of cookie we use on our website:
- Session Variables – ‘session cookies’ are temporary cookies that remain in your browser until you leave the website. These allow you to carry information across our site without having to re-enter it; it also enables us to analyse web traffic and improve our online services.
- Tracking Cookies– this is another very common type of cookie. We use these to help us track how many people visit our website, what pages they look at and how often they come back. When you visit our website we automatically check to see whether this cookie is in your browser, if it is present we know you have visited us before. This helps us identify between unique new visitors and returning visitors.
Cookies do not typically contain any information that will personally identify you, but personal information that we store about you from other means may be linked to the information stored in and obtained from cookies.
Our cookies do not analyse visits to other websites or track any Internet searches undertaken whilst you still have a window with our website open.
You may set your web browser to notify you of cookie placement requests or to decline cookies completely. You can delete the files that contain cookies; those files are stored as part of your Internet browser.
|Google Analytics||__utma||This cookie creates a unique ID when a new visitor browses our website. It helps us to assess the number of new visitors to our site, and identify whether we are receiving repeat visitors, too.|
|__utmb||These two cookies help us measure a visitor’s session, giving us data on what time visitors arrive and how long they spend browsing our website.|
|__utmz||This cookie gives us information about how a visitor got to our site (e.g. Google Search, referral site, social media, direct URL, etc.) and which pages they viewed after they arrived.|
|PHP||PHPSESSID||This cookie is native to the PHP development language, and is used to keep track of a visitor’s session, preserving useful data from page to page.|
Most browsers allow you to refuse to accept cookies; for example:
(a) in Internet Explorer (version 11) you can block cookies using the cookie handling override settings available by clicking “Tools”, “Internet Options”, “Privacy” and then “Advanced”;
(b) in Firefox (version 39) you can block all cookies by clicking “Tools”, “Options”, “Privacy”, selecting “Use custom settings for history” from the drop-down menu, and unticking “Accept cookies from sites”; and
(c) in Chrome (version 44), you can block all cookies by accessing the “Customise and control” menu, and clicking “Settings”, “Show advanced settings” and “Content settings”, and then selecting “Block sites from setting any data” under the “Cookies” heading.
Blocking all cookies will have a negative impact upon the usability of many websites.
If you block cookies, you will not be able to use all the features on our website.
You can delete cookies already stored on your computer; for example:
(a) in Internet Explorer (version 11), you must manually delete cookie files (you can find instructions for doing so at http://windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/internet-explorer/delete-manage-cookies#ie=ie-11);
(b) in Firefox (version 39), you can delete cookies by clicking “Tools”, “Options” and “Privacy”, then selecting “Use custom settings for history” from the drop-down menu, clicking “Show Cookies”, and then clicking “Remove All Cookies”; and
(c) in Chrome (version 44), you can delete all cookies by accessing the “Customise and control” menu, and clicking “Settings”, “Show advanced settings” and “Clear browsing data”, and then selecting “Cookies and other site and plug-in data” before clicking “Clear browsing data”.
Deleting cookies will have a negative impact on the usability of many websites.
For more information about cookies, visit – http://www.allaboutcookies.org/ or http://www.ico.gov.uk/for_the_public/topic_specific_guides/online/cookies.aspx