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What are cookies?
For almost any modern website to work properly, it needs to collect certain basic information on its users. To do this, a site will create small text files that are placed on a user’s computer, smartphone or other device. These cookies are designed to allow a website to recognise its users on subsequent visits, or to authorise other designated websites to recognise these users for a particular purpose.
Cookies do a lot of different jobs which make your experience of the Internet much smoother and more interactive including remembering the contents of your shopping basket and helping you navigate between pages more efficiently. They also help ensure that the advertisements that you see online are more relevant to you and your interests. Much, though not all, of the data that they collect is anonymous, though some of it is designed to detect browsing patterns and approximate geographical location to improve user experience.
What types of cookie are there and which ones do we use?
There are various types of cookie:
Persistent cookies remain on a user’s device for a set period of time specified in the cookie. They are activated each time that the user visits the Website that created that particular cookie.
Session cookies are temporary cookies which only exist during the time you use the Website (or more strictly, until you close the browser after using the Website). Session cookies help our Website remember what you chose on the previous page, avoiding the need to re-enter information.
First Party cookies are set on the domain you are currently visiting.
Third Party cookies are set on any domain other than the domain currently being visited. For example, if you were visiting our Website and the cookie was set on the addthis.com domain, that would be considered a third party cookie. Third-party cookies you encounter on our Website are likely to be analytical, performance or targeting cookies. These cookies are placed by the relevant third party and we have no control over these cookies (other than allowing them to be served).
Most browsers accept cookies automatically, but you can alter the settings of your browser to erase cookies or prevent automatic acceptance if you prefer. Generally you have the option to see what cookies you’ve got and delete them individually, block third party cookies or cookies from particular sites, accept all cookies, to be notified when a cookie is issued or reject all cookies. Visit the ‘options’ or ‘preferences’ menu on your browser to change settings, and check the following links for more browser-specific information.
Cookie settings in Internet Explorer: https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/help/17442/windows-internet-explorer-delete-manage-cookies
Cookie settings in Chrome: https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/95647?hl=en
Cookie settings in Safari: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201265