What are cookies?
Cookies are small bits of text that are downloaded to your browser when you access a website. Your browser makes these cookies available every time you visit the website again, so it can recognise you and can then tailor what you see on your device.
What are cookies used for?
Cookies are an important part of the internet infrastructure. They make using devices and accessing online information much smoother and affect lots of the useful features of websites. There are many different uses for cookies, but they fall into four main groups.
Cookies that are needed to provide the content, product or service you have asked for
Some cookies are essential to help your devices download or stream the information, or so you can move around websites and use their features. Without these cookies, content, products or services you’ve asked for can’t be provided.
Here are some examples of essential cookies:
- Positioning information on a smartphone screen, tablet device or other screen so that you can see the website and use its functionality.
- Keeping you logged in during your visit or enabling you to stream content. Without cookies, you might have to log in on every website you visit, or repeatedly adjust your volume and viewing settings.
- When you add something to the online shopping basket, cookies make sure it’s still there when you get to the checkout.
- Some are session cookies which make it possible to navigate through the website smoothly.
Improving your browsing experience
Cookies allow the application or website to remember choices you make, such as your language or region, and they provide improved features.
Here are a few examples of some of the ways that cookies are used to improve your experience on our applications and websites:
- Remembering your preferences and settings, including marketing preferences, such as choosing whether you wish to receive marketing information.
- Remembering if you’ve filled in a survey, so you’re not asked to do it again.
- Remembering if you’ve been to the application or website before.
- Restricting the number of times you’re shown a particular advertisement. This is sometimes called ‘frequency capping’.
- Showing you information that’s relevant to content, products or services that you receive.
- Giving you access to content provided by social-media sites like Facebook or Twitter.
- Showing ‘related article’ links that are relevant to the information you’re looking at.
- Remembering an application or website you’ve entered, such as weather forecasts.
We like to keep track of what websites, information and links are popular and which ones don’t get used so much, to help us keep our information relevant and up to date. It’s also very useful to be able to identify trends of how people navigate (find their way through) our information and when and where ‘error messages’ may originate.
This group of cookies, often called ‘analytics cookies’, are used to gather this information. The information collected is grouped with the information from everyone else’s cookies. We can then see the overall patterns of usage rather than any one person’s activity. Analytics cookies are used to improve how an application, a website and its pages work.
Our applications, web locations, websites and communications you get from us contain small invisible images known as ‘web beacons’ or ‘ pixels’. These are used to manage the interaction between you and the online information or email and allow us to assess the effectiveness of the communication.
We use ‘affiliate’ cookies. Some of our web based information will contain promotional links to other companies’ sites. If you follow one of these links and then register with or buy something from that other site, a cookie is used to tell the other site that you came from one of our sites. That other site may then pay us a small amount for the successful referral. For more information, see the Internet Advertising Bureau’s guide about how affiliate marketing works. Note that when you visit those other companies’ sites, they will have their own privacy notices which set out what personal data they collect and how they will use it.
Controlling your cookies
How can I see and manage my cookies in my browser?
Virtually all modern browsers allow you to see what cookies you’ve got, and to clear them individually or clear all of them. To find out how to do this, go to aboutcookies.org, which contains comprehensive information on how to do this on a wide variety of desktop browsers.
How can I choose not to receive Online Behavioural Advertising and other tracking cookies?
In addition to the controls available on your computer, there are other ways of choosing not to receive Online Behavioural Advertising and other tracking cookies.
Please note that most of these choices work by setting a cookie that overrides the behavioural advertising cookie. If you clear all your cookies, you will also clear these opt-out cookies, therefore changing your preferences. In this instance you would need to choose again.
Organisations which provide more information on Online Behavioural Advertising
- Evidon is a provider of privacy solutions.
- Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) “Your Online Choices” page allows you to choose not to receive behavioural advertising from each of the advertising networks represented by the IAB.
- Network Advertising Initiative (NAI) opt out page allows you to choose not to receive behavioural advertising from each of the ad networks represented by the NAI.
- Digital Advertising Alliance’s self-regulatory program for online behavioural advertising choices page.
How long we keep your information
We retain your email address and username for as long as you continue to be an active member of the site. You may request the deletion of your username and email address at any time. Comments you make on pages and the forum may remain until you request for them to be deleted.
If you wish to enquire about how we use your information or request a copy or deletion of your information please contact us at [email protected].
|Amazon||third party||Affiliate Marketing. More information: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=502584|
|Conversant Europe Ltd||third party||Affiliate partners. More information: https://www.conversantmedia.eu/legal/privacy-policy|
|Google Analytics||third party||26 Months||This cookie helps us to improve the quality of our sites by tracking which pages receive the most visits and which links are clicked. More information: https://policies.google.com/privacy?hl=en|