A cookie is a small text file that is downloaded onto ‘terminal equipment’ (for example, a computer or Smartphone) when the user accesses a website. It allows the website to recognise that user’s device and store some information about the user’s preferences or past actions.
We also use embedded code on our website to track visitors and clicks from links in Social Media Campaigns to certain landing pages. These do not place cookies on your computer or smart phone. They do not store personal information.
Types of cookie
Session and persistent cookies
Cookies can expire at the end of a browser session (from when a user opens the browser window to when they exit the browser) or they can be stored for longer.
These allow websites to link the actions of a user during a browser session. They may be used for a variety of purposes such as remembering what a user has put in their shopping basket as they browse around a site. They could also be used for security when a user is accessing internet banking or to facilitate use of webmail. These session cookies expire after a browser session so would not be stored longer term.
For this reason, session cookies may sometimes be considered less privacy intrusive than persistent cookies.
These are stored on a users’ device in between browser sessions which allows the preferences or actions of the user across a site (or in some cases across different websites) to be remembered. Persistent cookies may be used for a variety of purposes including remembering users’ preferences and choices when using a site or to target advertising.
First and third-party cookies
Whether a cookie is ‘first’ or ‘third’ party refers to the website or domain placing the cookie.
First party cookies in basic terms are cookies set by a website visited by the user – the website displayed in the URL window.
Third party cookies are cookies that are set by a domain other than the one being visited by the user. If a user visits a website and a separate company sets a cookie through that website this would be a third-party cookie.
Visit the AboutCookies.org website for more information.
There are various classifications of cookies, depending on their use:
These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, a session ID so each webpage doesn’t treat you as a new visitor, to direct you to the mobile website depending on your browser or device and to remember your cookie consent preferences.
These are used to recognise you when you return to our website. This enables us to personalise our content for you, by remembering your preferences.
Performance or Analytical
These are cookies collecting information about how you use the site. As a result, web pages may adapt to your needs, for a high-quality browsing experience. These cookies are also used for the creation of reports for the improvement of the website.
Targeting or Advertising
These are cookies that are used to deliver content that best suits you and your interests. They can be used for targeted advertising / offers, limiting ad serving or measuring the effectiveness of a promotional campaign. If you activate these cookies, you will be able to view ads targeted to your interests and preferences. These ads will also appear when browsing other websites.
This can take the form of video [YouTube] or maps [Google]. These links to external websites will set their own cookies.
Social sharing buttons, such as Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+ will also set cookies based on the platform and content shared.
- For Google Analytics to track site traffic, social media links and user path behaviour.
- To collect audience information connected to social media campaigns and for remarketing.
- To support either the Google Search or Google Display Networks for Ads.
- In standard social media buttons and links, including LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+.
- With Google Maps to remember location, account login, settings and preferences.
- Set by YouTube to measure the number and behaviour of YouTube users.
- Tracking shortened links to monitor the success of clicks such as Bit.ly, Goo.gl or Ow.ly.
We may post YouTube video links on our site. YouTube sets various cookies depending on the user.
SID, LOGIN_INFO, use_hotbox, PREF, SSID, HSID, watched_video_id_list, __utma, __utmz, demographics, VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE
Various unique identifiers, as well as login information that may relate to a Google account.
When does it expire?
Most of the cookies expire 10 years after your last visit to a page containing a YouTube video, although some expire sooner.
Google set a number of cookies on any page that includes a YouTube video. While we have no control over the cookies set by Google, they appear to include a mixture of pieces of information to measure the number and behaviour of YouTube users, including information that links your visits to our website with your Google account if you are signed in to one. Information about your use of our website, including your IP address, may be transmitted to Google and stored on servers in the United States. This cookie does not identify you personally unless you are logged into Google, in which case it is linked to your Google account.
Name APISID, HSID, NID, PREF, SAPISID, SID, SSID, khcookie, testcookie
Purpose Used by Google to measure traffic and save settings.
For example to identify which browser is used and what settings are used.
Expires Date varies between end of session and up to 2 years.
We use Google services, which set the following cookies:
Purpose This helps us count how many people visit the website by tracking if you’ve visited
Expires Before 2 year
Purpose This is used to manage the rate at which page view requests are made
Expires 10 minutes
Purpose This lets us know if you’ve visited before.
It counts how many of our visitors are new to the website or to a certain page.
Expires 2 years
Purpose This works with _utmc
It calculates the average length of time you spend on the website
Expires 30 minutes
Purpose This works with _utmb to calculate when you close your browser
Expires When you close your browser
Purpose This tells us how you reached the website.
[For example, from another website, a search engine or from social media]
Expires 6 months
Newsletters & Emails
We offer newsletter and subscription services through our WordPress website and send emails using third party software.
Cookies may be used to remember if you are already registered, and whether to show certain notifications and content which may only be valid to subscribed or unsubscribed users.
When you submit data through a form such as the contact page, comments or downloads, cookies may be set to remember your user details for future correspondence.
Various plug-ins [including our cookie notification plugin] may store information on your response to a question, to reduce the amount of times you are shown certain messages.
We may use Twitter pixels on certain landing pages and emails that are connected to paid campaigns.
A pixel is a small amount of code on a web page or in an email notification. As many services do, we use pixels to learn whether you’ve interacted with certain web or email content. This helps us measure the effectiveness of campaigns and follow up with interested recipients.
We may use LinkedIn ‘Insight’ Tags across our site to monitor traffic from the social media platform.
We used shortened links for web pages using Bit.ly. This is to track clicks and shares of our social media posts. Social media platforms often shorten links and image names by default. Users are advised to take caution before clicking on any link.
As a rule, cookies will make your browsing experience better. However, you may prefer to block or disable cookies. The most effective way to do this is to disable cookies in your browser. Here’s a guide:
Most browsers allow you to refuse to accept cookies; for example:
- in Internet Explorer [v11] you can block cookies using the cookie handling override settings available by clicking “Tools”, “Internet Options”, “Privacy” and then “Advanced”;
- in Firefox [v44] you can block all cookies by clicking “Tools”, “Options”, “Privacy”, selecting “Use custom settings for history” from the drop-down menu, and unticking “Accept cookies from sites”;
- in Chrome [v48], you can block all cookies by accessing the “Customise and control” menu, and clicking “Settings”, “Show advanced settings” and “Content settings”, and then selecting “Block sites from setting any data” under the “Cookies” heading; and
- in Safari [v8] Choose Safari > Preferences, click Privacy, then change which cookies and website data are accepted: Select a “Cookies and website data” option. More detail on the Apple Support Page.
Blocking all cookies will have a negative impact upon the usability of many websites.
If you block cookies, you may not be able to use all the features on our website.
You can delete cookies already stored on your computer; for example:
- in Internet Explorer [v11], you must manually delete cookie files. You can find instructions for doing so on the Microsoft website;
- in Firefox [v44], you can delete cookies by clicking “Tools”, “Options” and “Privacy”, then selecting “Use custom settings for history” from the drop-down menu, clicking “Show Cookies”, and then clicking “Remove All Cookies”;
- in Chrome [v48], you can delete all cookies by accessing the “Customise and control” menu, and clicking “Settings”, “Show advanced settings” and “Clear browsing data”, and then selecting “Cookies and other site and plug-in data” before clicking “Clear browsing data”; and
- in Safari [v8] Choose Safari > Preferences, click Privacy, then click Remove All Website Data, or click Details, select one or more websites, then click Remove. More detail on the Apple Support Page.
Deleting cookies will have a negative impact on the usability of many websites.
Why have we provided this information?
This information is provided in line with the Information Commissioner’s Office, the UK’s independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.
We have made the best effort to provide you with information in line with PECR, the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations.
Their full title is The Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003.