What are cookies?
Cookies are what websites use to improve and personalise your visits to that site in the future. They’re used by websites, apps and mobile sites to ‘remember’ you – either just for one visit (a session cookie) or for repeat visits (a persistent cookie).
Cookies do lots of different jobs, like letting you navigate between pages easily, storing your preferences, and generally improving your experience of a website. It’s all to make the interaction between you and the website faster and easier.
A cookie is a simple text file that’s stored on your computer (or mobile device) by a website’s server. Only that server will be able to see what’s on that cookie.
Each cookie will contain anonymous information like your unique identifier number and the site you’re visiting, along with some other digits and numbers. This information lets the website remember things like your preferences, or what’s in your shopping basket. So each cookie is unique to your browser.
What cookies does our website use?
- Strictly necessary cookies: to let you move around the site and use all the basic features.
- Functionality cookies: to improve the way the site works by storing your preferences.
- Performance cookies: they give you a better user experience of our website.
- Advertising cookies: our third party partners collect information about how you use the internet, so they can provide you with advertising that’s more likely to interest you.
Strictly necessary – The cookies we need to keep our website working properly.
These cookies let you move around the website and support all our essential features like secure areas, shopping baskets and online billing.
They’re not for gathering information, remembering your preferences or advertising products or services to you – they’re just to let you move around the website. If you disable these cookies, you might not be able to use our website properly, so we may not be able to provide some services to you.
Performance – The cookies that collect information about how you use our website.
Performance cookies collect information about how you use our website. They keep track of the pages you visit and any errors you come across, for example. They don’t collect any information that could identify you, though – all the information they collect stays anonymous. We only use that information to improve how our website works, understand what interests our users and measure how effective our advertising is. By using our website, you agree that we can place these types of cookies on your device.
Functionality – The cookies that provide services and remember your settings.
Functionality cookies are used to provide services or to remember your settings (like layout, text size, font, and other parts of our website you can customise) to improve the way you use our website. Things like online surveys, web chat and your settings are supported by functionality cookies.
The information these cookies collect may be anonymised and they can’t track how you use other websites. By using our website, you agree that we can place these types of cookies on your device.
Advertising – The cookies that link to services from third parties.
Advertising cookies are used to deliver advertisements that are relevant to you and your interests. They also link to services provided by third parties – like ‘Like’ and ‘Share’ buttons. The third party gives these services in return for recognising that you’ve visited our website.
We use advertising cookies to link to social networks like Facebook, which may then use information about your visit to target advertising to you. We also use these cookies to give advertising agencies information about your visit so they can personalise the adverts you see. By using our website, you agree that we can place these types of cookies on your device. If you don’t want us to use advertising cookies, you can change the privacy settings on your browser.
Turning cookies off
- Remove cookies from your hard drive.
- Set your browser to block cookies.
- Set your browser to send you a warning notice before a cookie is stored on your computer.
But remember that you might not be able to make the most of our website (or other websites) without cookies – some functions need cookies to work. But turning off cookies isn’t permanent. You can also go into your settings to change them back and use everything on our site properly again.