What is a Cookie?
A cookie is a small file of letters and numbers that we store on your browser or the hard drive of your computer or mobile device when you first visit one of our web pages.
Certain cookies contain personal information, for example if you click on a “remember me” button when you login a cookie will store your username. Most cookies will not collect information that personally identifies you. They will collect more general information such as how users arrive at and use our websites, or a user’s general location.
What cookies do we use?
Generally our cookies perform four different functions:
Strictly necessary cookies. These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website, use a shopping cart or make use of e-billing services.
Analytical/performance cookies. These are cookies that allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to this website and see how visitors move around the website when they are using it. We do this through the use of Google Analytics software. This helps us to improve the way our website works, for example, by ensuring that users are finding what they are looking for easily.
Google Analytics sets the following cookies:
_ga – This helps us count how many people visit our site by tracking if you’ve visited before and has an expiry time of 2 years.
_gid – This helps us count how many people visit our site by tracking if you’ve visited before and has an expiry time of 24 hours.
_gat – Used to manage the rate at which page view requests are made and has an expiry time of 1 minute.
Functional cookies. These cookies are used to recognise your device when you return to our website. This enables us to personalise our content for you, greet you by name and remember your preferences (for example, your choice of language or region).
Tracking cookies. These cookies record your visit to our website, the pages you have visited and the links you have followed. We will use this information to make our website more relevant to your interests.
Third party cookies cannot be used to identify you personally; they can only be used for statistical analysis.
How to control and delete cookies
However, if you wish to restrict or block the cookies which are set by our website, or indeed any other website, you can do this through your browser settings. The “Help” function within your browser should tell you how to activate the setting on your browser that allows you to refuse the setting of all or some cookies.
Alternatively you may wish to visit www.aboutcookies.org which contains comprehensive information about how to restrict or block cookies on a wide variety of browsers. You will also find information about how to delete cookies from your machine as well as more general information about cookies.
Please note that if you use your browser settings to block all cookies (including essential cookies) you may not be able to access all or parts of our site.