What are cookies?
You will have heard the term ‘cookie’ being referred to in relation to the internet. Many people have no idea what a cookie is or how they are used so we thought that it would make sense to explain things here.
Cookies are small text files which a website may store on your computer or mobile device when you first visit a site or page. These text files are purely text and contain nothing that will harm your computer. The cookie will help the website, or another website, to recognise your device the next time you visit. Web beacons or other similar files can also do the same thing and are often used within e-mails. We use the term “cookies” to refer to all files that collect information in this way.
Cookies do many different things. For example, they can help us to remember your username and any preferences that you have set to aid your use of our site. They are also used to analyse how well our website is performing, or even allow us to recommend content we believe will be most relevant to you.
Certain cookies contain personal information – for example, if you click to “remember me” when logging in, a cookie will store your username. Most cookies won’t collect information that identifies you, and will instead collect more general information such as how users arrive at and use our website, or a user’s general location.
Some cookies are essential for the operation of our website. For example, some cookies allow us to identify users who have registered with us and therefore enable us to serve the relevant information to the user when logged in.
We use functionality cookies to allow us to remember your preferences. For example, cookies save you the trouble of typing in your username every time you access the site, and recall your customisation preferences when you log in.
We also use functionality cookies to provide you with the ability to comment on a blog.
We use a cookie to provide information to Google Analytics to help us monitor our website traffic. Cookies are also used when you use the social network functions of the site.
Can a website user block cookies?
As we’ve explained above, cookies do help you to get more from our website.
Please remember that if you do choose to disable cookies, you may find that certain sections of our website do not work properly