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Cookie policy

What are cookies?

Our website uses cookies to distinguish you from other users of our website. This helps us to provide you with a good experience when you browse our website and also allows us to improve our website.  By continuing to use our website, 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.

A cookie is a small file of letters and numbers that is stored on your browser or hard drive of your computer if you agree. Cookies contain information that is transferred to your computer’s hard drive. 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 website much smoother and more interactive. For instance, they are used to remember your preferences on websites 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.

Information collected by cookies is not personally identifiable.

 

What types of cookie are there?

Broadly speaking, there are four types of cookie: strictly necessary cookies, performance cookies, functionality cookies and targeting or advertising cookies.

  • Strictly necessary cookies are essential to navigate around a website and use its features. Without them, you wouldn’t be able to use basic services like shopping baskets and e-billing.
  • Analytical/Performance cookies collect anonymous data on how visitors use a website; they can’t track users, and are only used to improve how a website works.
  • Functionality cookies allow users to customise how a website looks for them: they can remember usernames, language preferences and regions, and can be used to provide more personal services
  • Advertising and targeting cookies are used to deliver advertisements more relevant to you, but can also limit the number of times you see an advertisement, and be used to chart the effectiveness of an ad campaign by tracking users’ clicks. They can also provide security in transactions. They are usually placed by third-party advertising networks with a website operator’s permission, but can be placed by the operator themselves. They can remember that you have visited a website, and this information can be shared with other organisations, including other advertisers.

Additionally, these cookies break down into two further sub-types.

Persistent cookies remain on a user’s device for a set 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 are temporary. They 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. Once you close the browser, all session cookies are deleted.

 

How do we use cookies?

We collect a number of cookies from users for various reasons, not least to track our own performance - this allows us to calculate how many visitors we have - anonymously, of course - and how long they stay on our website.

We do our utmost to respect users’ privacy. We use these cookies to monitor and improve our service. We believe that your experience of the website would be adversely affected if you opted out of the cookies we use.

 

How do I turn cookies off?

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.

Cookie settings in Internet Explorer
Cookie settings in Firefox
Cookie settings in Chrome
Cookie settings in Safari

For more information on cookies, click here.