What are cookies?
You will have heard the term ‘cookie’ concerning the internet. Many people do not know what a cookie is or how and why they are used. We thought that it would make sense to explain things.
Cookies are small text files which a website may store on your computer or mobile device when you first visit a site or page. These text files are purely text, and contain nothing that will harm your computer. The cookie will help the website, or another website, to recognise your device the next time you visit. Web beacons or other similar files do the same thing and are often used within e-mails. We use the term “cookies” to refer to all files that collect information in this way.
Cookies do many different things. They remember your username and any preferences that you have set to use our site e.g. if you click ‘remember me’ when logging in, a cookie will store your username. Most cookies do not collect personal information, however, they will gather information of how users arrive at, and use our website and their general location. Cookies are also used to analyse how well our website is performing. They even allow us to recommend content we believe will be most relevant to you.
Some cookies are essential for the operation of our website. For example, some cookies allow us to identify users who have registered with us and therefore, enable us to serve the relevant information to the user when logged in.
Using functionality cookies to remember your preferences will save you the trouble of typing in your username each time you access the site, and recalls your customisation preferences when you log in. Functionality cookies also enables you to comment on a blog.
We also use a cookie to provide information to Google Analytics to help us monitor our website traffic. Cookies are also used when you use the social network functions of the site.