What are cookies and how do they benefit you?
Cookies are not actual programs or software. Cookies are small text files that are placed on your computer or mobile device when you browse websites.
When you visit a website it stores a snippet of text from your visit; the next time you visit, this text is retrieved by the website so it recognizes you. This can be used differently depending on the website visited. Cookies allow websites to store such things as user preferences. You can think of cookies as providing a "memory" for the website, enabling it to recognise a user and respond appropriately. Cookies on our website do NOT store any personally identifiable information such as names, addresses, email addresses or phone numbers.
Our cookies help us to:
- Make our website work as you'd expect
- Remember your settings during visits
- Allow you to share pages (names/blog articles) with social networks like Facebook or Twitter
- Continuously improve our website for you
- Collect any personally identifiable or sensitive information - we will always ask for your express permission if we ever need to collect this information.
What information is kept by the cookie?
A cookie will typically hold the following information:
- The name of the website that it has come from
- How long the cookie will stay on your computer or phone
- A value (usually a randomly generated unique number)
How long do cookies stay on my computer?
It depends on the type of cookie.
- Session cookies only last until you close your browser. They are not stored on your hard drive. They are usually used to track the pages that you visit so that information can be customised for you for that visit.
- Persistent cookies are stored on your hard drive until you delete them or they reach their expiry date. These may, for example, be used to remember your preferences when you use the site.
- Website function cookies
- Social media cookies
- Third party and advertising cookies
- Analytics cookies
Website function cookies such as session or preference cookies
- Holding information once you've logged in to save you having to re-login each time you visit a different page during your session
- Removing the session cookie once you log off or close the browser
Our site, like most websites, includes functionality provided by third parties. A common example is an embedded YouTube or Vimeo video. Disabling the cookies is likely to break the functions offered by these third parties.
Social media website cookies
To facilitate easy sharing or liking of content on social network platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, we have included sharing buttons on our site.The privacy implications will vary depending on the social network and will be dependent on the privacy settings you have chosen on these networks.
Anonymous visitor & behaviour statistic cookies
- How visitors reached our website (e.g. from a search engine, advert, email, social media site etc)
- The activity of users on the site such as the number of pages viewed, time spent on individual pages and the pages visitors leave our site from
- How often visitors return to our site
- Visitor technology used (e.g. browser, operating system, device etc)
These statistics help us make our site as user-friendly as possible, to ensure a good experience for all visitors. We use Google Analytics which is a program that helps us measure site usage details including the examples above.
Site Improvement Cookies
We regularly test new designs or site features on our site. We do this by showing slightly different versions of our website to different people and anonymously monitoring how visitors respond to these different versions. Ultimately this helps us to offer you a better website. We use Google web master tools to do this.
- Third party vendors, including Google, show ads on sites on the internet.
Turning cookies off
You can switch cookies off by adjusting your internet browser’s settings to stop it accepting cookies. There are many different browsers and versions. Some of the most common browsers are listed below. Click the name of your preferred browser below to learn how to disable and manage cookies. If your browser is not listed, please visit your preferred search engine.
Please be aware that turning off cookies will impair the performance of many websites and not just ours.