What are cookies?
Cookies are small text files that web sites often store on the computer hard drives of visitors to their sites. They are widely used in order to make web sites work, or work better, as well as to provide information to the owners of the site. A cookie often contains a unique number, which can be used to recognise your computer when a user of your computer returns to a website that it visited previously.
Types of cookies
There are two broad types of cookies - 'first party cookies' and 'third party cookies':
We use the categorisation set out by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in their UK Cookie Guide, produced in April 2012. The guide is available to download in PDF format (290KB).
The guide identifies four categories of cookies, outlined below:
1. Strictly necessary cookies:
2. Performance cookies:
3. Functionality cookies:
4. Targeting or advertising cookies:
You have the right to choose whether to accept these cookies. You can exercise this right by amending or setting the controls on your browser to reflect your cookie preferences.
Changing your cookie preferences
The "Help" menu in the toolbar of most web browsers will tell you how to change your browser's cookie settings, including how to have the browser notify you when you receive a new cookie, and how to disable cookies altogether.
An online guide is available if you have difficulties trying to change your browser settings.