Last Updated: 23/05/2018
What is a cookie?
Cookies are text files containing small amounts of information which are downloaded to your device when you visit a website. Cookies are then sent back to the originating website on each subsequent visit, or to another website that recognises that cookie. Cookies are useful because they allow a website to recognise a user’s device. You can find more information about cookies at www.allaboutcookies.org and www.youronlinechoices.eu
For a video about cookies visit www.google.co.uk/goodtoknow/data-on-the-web/cookies
Cookies do lots of different jobs, like letting you navigate between pages efficiently, remembering your preferences, and generally improve user experience. They can also help to ensure that adverts you see online are more relevant to you and your interests.
The cookies used on this website have been categorised based on the categories found in the ICC UK Cookie guide and provided are explained below.
Most web browser settings are set for you to accept both our cookies and third party cookies. However, you are able to adjust those settings (in relation to both our own cookies and those of third parties) to accept the cookies, to prompt you to accept or refuse a cookie each time one is sent, or to reject all cookies outright.
If you wish to reject our cookies, you can configure your browser to do so, but please be aware that if you do, certain functionality of the website may not be available and your use of the website may therefore be diminished.
You can find out how to manage cookies for your browser here http://www.allaboutcookies.org/manage-cookies/
Types of Cookies
These cookies are essential in order to enable you to move around the website and use its features, such as accessing secure areas of the website. Without these cookies services you have asked for, like shopping baskets or e-billing, cannot be provided. Accepting these cookies is a condition of using the website, so if you prevent these cookies we can't predict how our website will perform during your visit.
Examples would include:
- Remembering previous actions (e.g. entered text) when navigating back to a page in the same session
- Managing and passing security tokens to different services within a website to identify the visitor’s status (e.g. logged in or not)
- To maintain tokens for the implementation of secure areas of the website
- To route customers to specific versions/applications of a service, such as might be used during a technical migration
These cookies collect information about how visitors use the website, for instance which pages visitors go to most often, and if they get error messages from web pages. These cookies don’t collect information that identifies a visitor. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous.
Examples would include:
- Web analytics—where the data collected is limited to the website operator’s use only, for managing the performance and design of the site. These cookies can be third-party cookies but the information must be for the exclusive use of the publisher of the website visited
- Ad response rates—where the data is used exclusively for calculating response rates (click-through rates) to improve the effectiveness of advertising purchased on a site external to the destination website. If the same cookie is used to retarget adverts on a third-party site this would fall outside the performance category (see Targeting)
- Affiliate tracking—where the cookie is used to let affiliates know that a visitor to a site visited a partner site some time later and if that visit resulted in the use or purchase of a product or service, including details of the product and service purchased. Affiliate tracking cookies allow the affiliate to improve the effectiveness of their site. If the same cookie is used to retarget adverts this would fall outside the performance category (see Targeting)
- Error management—measuring errors presented on a website, typically this will be to support service improvement or complaint management and will generally be closely linked with web analytics
- Testing designs—testing variations of design, typically using A/B or multivariate testing, to ensure a consistent look and feel is maintained for the user of the site in the current and subsequent sessions
These cookies allow the website to remember choices you make (such as your user name, language or the region you are in) and provide enhanced, more personal features. For instance, a website may be able to provide you with local weather reports or traffic news by storing in a cookie the region in which you are currently located. These cookies can also be used to remember changes you have made to text size, fonts and other parts of web pages that you can customise. They may also be used to provide services you have asked for such as watching a video or commenting on a blog. The information these cookies collect may be anonymised and they cannot track your browsing activity on other websites.
Examples would include:
- Remembering settings a user has applied to a website such as layout, font size, preferences, colours etc
- Remembering a choice such as not to be asked again to fill in a questionnaire
- Detecting if a service has already been offered, such as offering a tutorial on future visits to the website
- Providing information to allow an optional service to function such as offering a live chat session
- Fulfilling a request by the user such as submitting a comment
These cookies are used to deliver adverts more relevant to you and your interests. They can also be used to limit the number of times you see an advertisement as well as help measure the effectiveness of the advertising campaigns. They remember that you have visited a page and this information is shared with other organisations such as advertisers.
Examples would include:
- Cookies placed by advertising networks to collect browsing habits in order to target relevant adverts to the user. The site the user is visiting need not actually be serving adverts, but often this will also be the case
- Cookies placed by advertising networks in conjunction with a service implemented by the website to increase functionality, such as commenting on a blog, adding a site to the user’s social network, providing maps or counters of visitors to a site
Social Media Buttons
In order to implement the Social Media Buttons including Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, and connect them to the relevant social networks and external sites, there are scripts from domains outside our control. You should be aware that these sites are likely to be collecting information about what you are doing all around the internet, including on our site. If you click on any of these buttons, these sites will be registering that action and may use that information. You should check the respective policies of each of these sites to see how exactly they use your information and to find out how to opt out, or delete, such information.
Information about cookies
Useful information about cookies can be found at:
Internet Advertising Bureau
A guide to behavioural advertising and online privacy has been produced by the internet advertising industry which can be found at:
International Chamber of Commerce United Kingdom
Information on the ICC (UK) UK cookie guide can be found on the ICC website section: