What are cookies and similar technologies?
Cookies are small pieces of information sent to your computer or mobile phone (referred to as a “device”) browser from a website and stored on your device. Further general information on cookies can be found at aboutcookies.org. Other technologies work in a similar way to cookies by storing information on or accessing it from a mobile device including a mobile device Identifier for Advertising (IFA) or Android ID.
How are they used?
Cookies enable us and our partner organisations to identify your device when you access our website. The information they contain can then be used to:
- Personalise the website by storing the preferences a user selects for the site;
- Store information as part of the function of the website, such as shopping basket contents;
- Restrict access to registered user’s data and limit access to “paid for” services;
- Collect aggregated statistical information about the use of the website.
Display advertising more relevant to user’s interests either on the site or on other sites users may visit.
What information do they contain?
There is no personally identifiable information held in our cookies or the cookies used by our partner organisations from which you can be directly identified (so for example there is no information held such as a name or email address). Cookies will often contain a unique reference code identifier, relevant to a visitor for example: 413EA8A33A38AC8CCE09CC624E8B4758, and may contain categories of interest or usage data based on the use of the site by the visitor relevant to that reference you have supplied, such as user preferences and shopping basket contents. In some cases they can contain information about what a visitor you have done on our website, for example whether you have pressed a particular button or viewed a particular page. There are a few instances where we need to record more detailed information in the cookie, for example the cookie we use to indicate that you are logged into our website. In this case we store your unique identifier and time that you logged in. In such cases the contents of the cookie are encrypted, meaning that only our website can read that information.
How do I control which cookies I accept?
You have the opportunity to set your device’s browser to accept all cookies, to ask you when the websites sends a cookie, or not to receive cookies at any time. Not allowing cookies means that certain features of our website will not work and accordingly you might not be able to take full advantage of all of our services. Each browser is different, so check the “Help” menu of your browser to learn how to change your cookie preferences.
You can also find up-to-date information clearly explaining how to control or delete cookies on your Windows PC or Apple Mac at aboutcookies.org. To control or delete cookies on your mobile phone, you can set the ‘Limit Ad Tracking’ property located in the settings screen of your Apple iPhone, or by resetting your Android ID through apps that are available in the Play Store as well as referring to the device manufacturers instructions. See also the further information below on how to opt-out of third party cookies, such as those used for analytics and advertising.
Other types of cookies
We use Macromedia Flash Player to deliver certain services on our sites. To improve user experience, Local Shared Objects – or Flash Cookies as they are commonly known – are employed to provide features such as auto-resume or saving preferences. Flash Cookies are stored on a user’s terminal much the same as cookies are, but it is not possible to manage them at browser level in the same way.
The Adobe website provides comprehensive information on how to delete or disable Flash cookies, either for a specific domain or for all websites – see Adobe’s website for details.
Please be aware that restricting the use of Flash Cookies may affect the features available to you for Flash-based applications on our sites.
Why does your website use 3rd party cookies?
We use partner organisations to provide additional services to us and to you, for example:
- Analysing the use of our website to help us improve it
- Understanding your interests or preferences from how you use our website
- Building a picture of different types of user interests or preferences so that we and other advertisers can display advertising that is more relevant to you on our website or on other sites that you visit
- Controlling and measuring the display of and performance of advertising on our website or other sites on which advertising is displayed
See also the information provided above on cookies and controlling which cookies you accept. Please note however that if you opt out of cookies or similar technologies used to deliver tailored advertising you will continue to receive generic advertising that has not been targeted to your interests.