For almost any modern website to work properly, it needs to collect certain basic information on its users. To do this, a site will create files known as cookies – which are small text files – on its users’ computers. These cookies are designed to allow the website to recognise its users on subsequent visits, or to authorise other designated websites to recognise these users for a particular purpose.
Cookies do a lot of different jobs which make your experience of the Internet much smoother and more interactive. For instance, they are used to remember your preferences on sites you visit often, to remember your user ID and the contents of your shopping baskets, and to help you navigate between pages more efficiently. They also help ensure that the advertisements that you see online are more relevant to you and your interests. Much, though not all, of the data that they collect is anonymous, though some of it is designed to detect browsing patterns and approximate geographical location to improve user experience.
Some of our pages may also contain images called ‘web beacons’ (also known as ‘clear gifs’), which allow us to count visitors. Web beacons only collect limited information, including a cookie number, a timestamp, and a record of the page on which they are placed. We may also carry web beacons placed by third party advertisers. These beacons do not carry any personally identifiable information and are only used to track the effectiveness of a particular campaign. Information collected by cookies and web beacons is not personally identifiable.
Broadly speaking, there are four types of cookie: strictly necessary cookies, performance cookies, functionality cookies and targeting or advertising cookies.
Additionally, these cookies break down into two further sub-types.
Recently, the law on cookies has changed. Now sites that try to place performance, functionality, and targeting and advertising cookies need your permission for before they can place them onto your computer. To find out more about the law, click here.
We collect a number of cookies from its users for various reasons, not least to track our own performance – but also to let us serve you content tailored to your own specifications, hopefully improving your overall experience of the site. Amongst other things, the cookies we use allow users to register to make comments, allow us to calculate how many visitors we have - anonymously, of course - and how long they stay on our site.
We do our utmost to respect users’ privacy. We use these cookies to monitor and improve our services. We believe that your experience of the site would be adversely affected if you opted out of the cookies we use.
Most browsers accept cookies automatically, but you can alter the settings of your browser to erase cookies or prevent automatic acceptance if you prefer. Generally you have the option to accept all cookies, to be notified when a cookie is issued or reject all cookies. Visit the ‘options’ or ‘preferences’ menu on your browser to change settings, and check the following links for more browser-specific information.
To switch off third-party advertising cookies, you can turn these off by visiting the Internet Advertising Bureau’s consumer advice site here.
For more information on cookies, click here
By continuing to use our site, you agree to the placement of cookies on your device. If you choose not to receive our cookies, we cannot guarantee that your experience will be as fulfilling as it would otherwise be. For instance, the site won’t be able to recognise your commenter ID, meaning that you won’t be able to leave comments.