What is a cookie?
Cookies are text files containing small amounts of information which are downloaded to your personal computer, mobile or other device when you visit a website. Cookies are then sent back to the originating website on each subsequent visit, or to another website that recognises that cookie. Cookies are useful because they allow a website to recognise a user's device.
Persistent cookies - these cookies remain on a user's device for the 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 - these cookies 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. Session cookies are created temporarily. Once you close the browser, all session cookies are deleted.
Cookies do lots of different jobs, like letting you navigate between pages efficiently, remembering your preferences, and generally improve the user experience. They can also help to ensure that adverts you see online are more relevant to you and your interests.
Cookies used on our sites
A list of all the cookies used on our sites by category is set out below.
Strictly necessary cookies
These cookies enable services you have specifically asked for. For those types of cookies that are strictly necessary, no consent is required.
These cookies are essential in order to enable you to move around our sites and use its features. Without these cookies services you have asked for, like shopping baskets, cannot be provided.
These cookies collect anonymous information on the pages visited. By using our sites, you agree that we can place these types of cookies on your device.
These cookies collect information about how visitors use our sites, for instance which pages visitors go to most often, and if they get error messages from web pages. These cookies don't collect information that identifies a visitor. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. It is only used to improve how our sites works.
These cookies remember choices you make to improve your experience. By using our sites, you agree that we can place these types of cookies on your device.
These cookies allow our sites to remember choices you make (such as your user name, language or the region you are in) and provide enhanced, more personal features. These cookies can also be used to remember changes you have made to text size, fonts and other parts of web pages that you can customise. They may also be used to provide services you have asked. The information these cookies collect may be anonymised and they cannot track your browsing activity on other websites.
Targeting or advertising cookies
These cookies collect information about your browsing habits in order to deliver advertising more relevant to you and your interests.
They are also used to limit the number of times you see an advertisement as well as help measure the effectiveness of the advertising campaign. They are usually placed by advertising networks with our permission. They remember that you have visited a website and this information is shared with other organisations such as advertisers. Quite often targeting or advertising cookies will be linked to site functionality provided by the other organisation.
Using browser settings to manage cookies
The Help menu on the menu bar of most browsers will tell you how to prevent your browser from accepting new cookies, how to have the browser notify you when you receive a new cookie and how to disable cookies altogether. You can also disable or delete similar data used by browser add-ons, such as Flash cookies, by changing the add-on's settings or visiting the website of its manufacturer.
Behavioural advertising and online privacy
A guide to behavioural advertising and online privacy has been produced by the internet advertising industry which can be found at www.youronlinechoices.eu. The guide contains an explanation of the IAB's self-regulatory scheme to allow you greater control of the advertising you see.