On 26 May 2011 UK Legislation came into force, requiring website owners to gain permission from visitors before setting Cookies on their computers.
In general, cookies are used to retain user preferences, store information for things like shopping carts, and provide anonymised tracking data to third party applications like Google Analytics. As a rule, cookies will make your browsing experience better.
You can choose to accept or decline cookies. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies if you prefer. This may prevent you from taking full advantage of the website. The most effective way to do this is to disable cookies in your browser. We suggest consulting the Help section of your browser which offers guidance for all modern browsers.
What types of cookie are there?
Broadly speaking, there are four types of cookie: strictly necessary cookies, performance cookies, functionality cookies and targeting or advertising cookies.
- Strictly necessary cookies are essential to navigate around a website and use its features. Without them, you wouldn’t be able to use basic services like shopping baskets and e-billing.
- Performance cookies collect anonymous data on how visitors use a website; they can’t track users, and are only used to improve how a website works.
- Functionality cookies allow users to customise how a website looks for them: they can remember usernames, language preferences and regions, and can be used to provide more personal services like local weather reports and traffic news.
- Advertising and targeting cookies are used to deliver advertisements more relevant to you, but can also limit the number of times you see an advertisement, and be used to chart the effectiveness of an ad campaign by tracking users’ clicks. They can also provide security in transactions. They are usually placed by third-party advertising networks with a website operator’s permission, but can be placed by the operator themselves. They can remember that you have visited a website, and this information can be shared with other organisations, including other advertisers.
These cookies break down into two further sub-types.
- 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. They 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. Once you close the browser, all session cookies are deleted.
- By continuing to use our site, you agree to the placement of cookies on your device. If you choose not to receive our cookies, we cannot guarantee that your experience will be as fulfilling as it would otherwise be.