What are cookies?
A “cookie” is a text file of letters and numbers that websites send to a visitor’s computer or other Internet-connected device to uniquely identify the visitor’s browser or to store information or settings in the browser. A “web beacon,” also known as an Internet tag, pixel tag or clear GIF, links web pages to web servers and their cookies and may be used to transmit information collected through cookies back to a web server. We and our third-party service providers may use beacons to help us track response rates, identify when webpages are accessed or other types of interactions – such as forwarding – and for other purposes listed below.
The term “cookies” includes cookies, tags and pixels.
By dropping a cookie on a website user’s internet device – for example, their computer, laptop or smartphone – the website can recognise that user’s device and store information about the user’s preferences or past actions. Cookies may also allow the website to recognise the user when the user returns to the website.
- improve the performance of our websites,
- enable us to collect information about how users use our websites,
- improve users experience on our websites,
- deliver relevant online advertising to you both on our websites and elsewhere, and/or
- measure the effectiveness of our online advertising and marketing communications.
A Summary of the Different Types of Cookies
Strictly Necessary Cookies
These are cookies that are required for a website to function. They are used to ensure the safety, security and integrity of our website, as well as to enable users to move around the website and use its features. For example they help support the structure of the pages that are displayed to website users, help to improve navigation and allow website users to return to pages they have previously visited. This type of Cookie only lasts for the duration of the time website users are visiting the website. When a user leaves the website they are deleted automatically.
Cookies categorized as Strictly Necessary cannot be turned off and the consent of the website user is not legally required before their use – we therefore do not seek your consent before using cookies that are strictly necessary.
Performance Cookies or analytical Cookies
These cookies are used to collect information about how users use a website, for instance which pages users go to most often, and if they get error messages from web pages. These cookies don’t collect information that identifies a visitor. The data from such cookies are aggregated and anonymised, which means that we cannot identify a user as an individual. We ask for your consent before these types of cookies are used.
These are used to recognise a website user when they return to a website. This enables a website owner to personalise content for that user, for example by:
- greeting the user by name.
- remembering the user’s preferences – such as choice of language – or font size changes.
- providing users with information on local events or news by storing their regional location.
- Providing services such as watching a video or commenting on an item.
These cookies cannot track browsing activity on other websites and the information they collect may be anonymised – but they will be able to identify a user’s device. These cookies will remain on a user’s device until the user chooses to clear them. If a user chooses to do this, they will subsequently need to enter their details the next time they visit the website.
These Cookies will collect information about a user’s browsing habits and allow the website owner to show the user adverts while they are browsing the website or other websites on the internet. They are set by the website owner or by third parties acting on behalf of the website owner and last for variable periods of time.
They may be used to deliver targeted advertisements to website users or to limit the number of times a visitors will see an ad. They are usually placed by advertising networks with the website operator’s permission. They remember that a visitor has visited a website and this information is shared with other organisations such as advertisers.
Blocking or restricting Cookies
These cookies can be used to stop cookies being used on a website user’s device by activating a setting on the website user’s browser that results in blocking the deployment of all or some cookies. Please visit www.allaboutcookies.org to find out how.
If browser settings block cookies that internet user may not be able to access all or parts of certain websites.
Social Media Cookies
These cookies are set by social media services and are added to a website to allow website users to share content with their friends and connections. These cookies can track browser use across websites to build a profile of a visitor’s interests. This may impact the content and messages seen on other websites.