What are cookies?
Cookies, or HTTP cookies, are small bits of data stored as text files on a browser (such as Google Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer). They are used by websites to make the experience better, as well as provide information to the owners of the site. Cookies comprise of a unique number, which identifies your computer when you return to a web page or a website you have visited in the past.
Types of cookie
Cookies can be classified in a number of ways, but here’s the two most common:
• First party cookies: This is where a user is only tracked on the specific website. These are often used to recognise when a visitor revisits certain pages of that website.
• Third party cookies: These are served by a service provider on behalf of the website owner. The user continues to be tracked when using other websites such as social media platforms, often to advertise.
In addition, cookies may be either ‘session cookies’ or ‘persistent cookies’:
• Session cookies: These are automatically removed once you close your browser.
• Persistent cookies: These stick around and track activity on other websites too until an expiry date specified on the cookie itself is reached.
Your rights & how to change your cookie preferences
If you would like to opt-out of cookies, you can amend or set the controls on your browser to reflect your cookie preferences.
The help menu in the toolbar of most web browsers will tell you how to change your browser’s cookie settings.
An online guide is available if you have difficulties trying to change your browser settings.