What are cookies?
A cookie is a simple text file that is stored on your computer or mobile device by a website you are visiting and only that server will be able to retrieve or read the contents of that cookie at a later date. Each cookie is unique to your web browser. It will contain some anonymous information such as a unique identifier and the site name and some digits and numbers. It allows a website to remember things like your preferences or the contents of your shopping cart.
Which cookies does this site use and why?
Cookies can be used for many different purposes. A common classification is outlined for you below:
1. 'Strictly necessary' cookies
These cookies are essential in helping you to move around our websites and use their features, such as accessing secure areas of the website. Without these cookies, services you have asked for, such as remembering your username on login, cannot be provided. These cookies do not gather information about you that could be used for marketing or remembering where you've been on the internet.
2. Functional cookies
These cookies allow websites and applications to remember choices you make (such as your user name, language or the region you are in) and provide enhanced, more personal features. The information these cookies collect is usually anonymised which means we can't identify you personally. They do not gather any information about you that could be used for selling advertising or remembering where you've been on the internet, but do help with serving advertising.
3. Analytics cookies
In order to keep the products and services within the site relevant, easy to use and up-to-date, we use web analytics services to help us understand how people use them. For example, we can see which parts of the products and services are most popular, identify which pages been viewed the most, identify when errors occur, and test different versions of a page or feature to see which one works best.
4. Targeting cookies
- Cookies may be placed on your device by our third party service providers which remember that you have visited a website in order to provide you with targeted adverts which are more relevant to you and your interests. This is often called online behavioural advertising (OBA) (also known as 'behavioural targeting' or 'interest based advertising') and is done by grouping together shared interests based upon previous web browsing activity. Advertising may then be displayed to you when you visit the products and services within this site which matches these interests. Your previous web browsing activity can also be used to infer things about you, such as your demographics (age, gender etc.). This information may also be used to make the advertising more relevant to you.
- Personalised retargeting is another form of OBA that enables our advertiser partners to show you adverts based on your online browsing away from this website. For example, if you visited the website of an online travel company you may start seeing adverts from the same travel company displaying special offers or showing you the products that you were browsing when you come to our websites. This allows companies to advertise to people who previously visited their website. These cookies will usually be dropped by third-party advertising networks.
Although these cookies can track your visits around the web they don't know who you are. Even if you sign in to our Portal, the OBA data is still not linked to your profile.
Without these cookies, online advertisements you encounter will be less relevant to you and your interests. If you would like more information about OBA, including how to opt-out of these cookies, please visit: www.youronlinechoices.com (opens in a new window)
5. Other third party cookies
Please note that on some pages of our websites you may notice that cookies have been set that are not related to thus site or our authorised service providers. When you visit a page with content embedded from, for example, YouTube or Facebook, these service providers may set their own cookies on your web browser. These anonymous cookies may be set by that third party to track the success of their application or to customise their application to you. This site does not control the use of these cookies and cannot access them due to the way that cookies work, as cookies can only be accessed by the party who originally set them. You should check the third party websites for more information about these cookies.
How to manage cookies in your browser
Most modern browsers will allow you to:
- See what cookies you've got and delete them on an individual basis
- Block third party cookies
- Block cookies from particular sites
- Block all cookies from being set
- Delete all cookies when you close your browser
If you are primarily concerned about third party cookies generated by advertisers, you can turn these off separately. This is discussed in more detail below.
The links below take you to the 'Help' sections for each of the major browsers so that you can find out more about how to manage your cookies.