What are cookies?

Cookies are small text files that web sites often store on the computer hard drives of visitors to their sites. They are widely used in order to make web sites work, or work better, as well as to provide information to the owners of the site. A cookie often contains a unique number, which can be used to recognise your computer when a user of your computer returns to a website that it visited previously.

Types of cookies

There are two broad types of cookies – ‘first party cookies’ and ‘third party cookies’:

  • First party cookies are cookies that are served directly by the website operator to your computer, and are often used to recognise your computer when it revisits that site and to remember your preferences as you browse the site.
  • Third party cookies are served by a service provider on behalf of the website operator, and can be used by the service provider to recognise your computer when it visits other web sites. Third party cookies are most commonly used for web site analytics or advertising purposes.

In addition, cookies may be either ‘session cookies’ or ‘persistent cookies’. Your computer automatically removes session cookies once you close your browser. Persistent cookies will survive on your computer until an expiry date specified in the cookie itself, is reached.

Cookie categories

We use the categorisation set out by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in their UK Cookie Guide, produced in April 2012.

The guide identifies four categories of cookies, outlined below:

  1. Strictly necessary cookies:
    • These related directly to using core features on the website, a shopping cart for example.
  2. Performance cookies:
    • These relate to use of the website but no personal or identifiable  information is collected.
  3. Functionality cookies:
    • These cookies remember choices made by the user and enhance the features or remember preferences
  4. Targeting or advertising cookies:
    • These cookies collect information about the users’ browsing habits and may link your data to identifiable profiles e.g. a social media account.

Cookies in use on this website

At present this website only uses cookies that fall in to category 1 or 2.