A cookie is a piece of information stored on your computer's hard drive which records how you move your way around a website so that, when you revisit that website, it can present tailored options based on the information stored about your last visit. Cookies can also be used to analyse traffic, and for advertising and marketing purposes.
Cookies are either:
Session cookies: these are only stored on your computer during your web session and are automatically deleted when you close your browser. They usually store an anonymous session ID allowing you to browse a website without having to log in to each page, but they do not collect any personal data from your computer, or
Persistent cookies: these are stored as a file on your computer and remain there when you close your browser. The cookie can be read by the website that created it when you return to that website. We use persistent cookies for Google Analytics.
They can also be categorised as follows:
Strictly necessary cookies: essential to enable you to use the website effectively, such as when buying a service/product, and therefore cannot be turned off. Without these cookies, the services available to you on our website cannot be provided. These cookies do not gather information about you that could be used for marketing or remembering where you have been on the internet.
Performance cookies: enable us to monitor and improve the performance of our website. For example, they allow us to count visits, identify traffic sources and see which parts of the site are most popular.
Functionality cookies: allow our website to remember choices you make, and provide enhanced features. For instance, we may be able to provide you with news or updates relevant to the services you use. They may also be used to provide services you have requested, such as viewing a video. The information collected by these cookies is usually anonymised.