Cookies

What is a cookie?

A cookie is a simple text file that is stored on a user’s computer (or mobile device) that is created when a user visits a website using a program called a browser (for example Internet Explorer, Firefox or Safari).

A cookie isn’t a program itself and doesn’t actively do anything on a user’s computer. A cookie cannot be used to identify a user personally but they do contribute to improving a user’s experience of a website.

A cookie simply allows the website to read the contents of the cookie text file. The text file itself simply contains a unique identifier code; the site name and some digits and numbers.

Why are Cookies used?

Most websites will use cookies in order to improve the user experience by enabling the website to ‘remember’ the user, either for the duration of the visit or for repeat visits.

Cookies do lots of different jobs, such as:

  • remembering what items a user may have added to a shopping basket or an itinerary as the user moves between pages on a website.
  • saving a user’s preferences to allow them to customise a website
  • measuring what users do on a website to ascertain which parts of a website are popular, how long they spend on a website, how often users return, where they come from etc

What Cookies are used by this site?

Cookies are set by this website (first party cookies) but may also be set by other websites (e.g. You Tube) that run content on the website’s pages (third party cookies).

Cookies can be set to remember a visitor for the duration of their visit (session cookies) or to remember a visitor for repeat visits (persistent cookies).

Here are the standard cookies used by this website:

First Party Cookies

CookieTypeDurationDescription
Google Analytics _utmaPersistent2 years from when set or updated.Used to distinguish users and sessions. The cookie is created when the javascript library executes and no existing __utma cookies exists. The cookie is updated every time data is sent to Google Analytics.
Google Analytics _utmbPersistent30 mins from set/updateUsed to determine new sessions/visits. The cookie is created when the javascript library executes and no existing __utmb cookies exists. The cookie is updated every time data is sent to Google Analytics.
Google Analytics _utmcSessionEnd of browser sessionHistorically, this cookie operated in conjunction with the __utmb cookie to determine whether the user was in a new session/visit.
Google Analytics _utmtPersistent10 minutesUsed to throttle request rate.
Google Analytics _utmzPersistent6 months from set/updateStores the traffic source or campaign that explains how the user reached your site. The cookie is created when the javascript library executes and is updated every time data is sent to Google Analytics.
viewed_cookie_policyPersistent1 yearThis cookie is used to remember that the cookie bar is closed.

 

How do I disable cookies?

Each browser has different settings which allow a user to adjust their particular cookie permissions

For Internet Explorer

For Firefox

For Chrome

For Safari (OS X)

For Safari (iOS)

For Android