What is a cookie?
Cookies are small text files that are placed on your browser by websites that you visit. They can do lots of different jobs, like letting you navigate between pages efficiently, remembering your preferences, and generally improving your user experience. They can also help to ensure that the adverts you see online are more relevant to you and your interests.
A cookie can fall in one of the following categories:
- Essential cookies – these cookies are required for the website to function to allow you to navigate, and might include determining if a user can access a secured area of the website. Without these cookies, you will be unable to use our Site.
- Non-essential cookies – these cookies allow enhanced functionality or improved experience but are not essential to the basic functionality of the website. These can include analytics tracking that helps us understand how our Site is being used, detect issues with user experience and collect data that helps us improve the Site during your visit. Over time these cookies can also allow us to provide a more personalised experience and assist us in identifying the needs of our customers.
- Social cookies – these social media pixel cookies are used to personalise any advertising we do on social media channels such as Facebook to make our advertising more relevant.
Cookies can also be categorised as persistent or session cookies, in terms of their retention period:
- Persistent cookies – these cookies remain on a user's device for the period specified in the cookie. They are activated each time the user visits the website that created that particular cookie. These cookies can remain on a user’s device for a period that ranges between a number of days and a number of months, or can be dropped on the device permanently.
- Session cookies – these cookies allow website operators to link the actions of a user during a browser session. A browser session starts when a user opens the browser window and finishes when they close the browser window. Session cookies are created temporarily. Once you close the browser, all session cookies are deleted.
What is Local Storage?
Local Storage is similar in purpose to Cookies and introduced in more recent browsers. Data that previously would have been stored in a cookie (a text file on the user’s computer) is instead stored in the browser, which is more secure and better optimised for modern web applications.
How to change your cookies settings
Most web browsers allow some control of most cookies through the browser settings. To find out more about cookies, including how to see what cookies have been set, visit www.aboutcookies.org or www.allaboutcookies.org.
Find out how to manage cookies on popular browsers:
To find information relating to other browsers, visit the browser developer's website.
To opt out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites, visit http://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout.