Some of the information stored is put there by other companies whose software we have added to the site, and this can also impact your experience of other websites you may visit after leaving ours.
If you continue to use this site without taking action to prevent the storage of this information, you are effectively agreeing to this use.
What is a cookie?
Cookies are pieces of data, normally stored in text files, that websites place on visitors' computers to store a range of information, usually specific to that visitor - or rather the device they are using to view the site - like the browser or mobile phone.
They were created to overcome a limitation in web technology. Web pages are 'stateless' - which means that they have no memory, and cannot easily pass information between each other. So cookies provide a kind of memory for web pages.
Cookies allow you to login on one page, then move around to other pages and stay logged in. They allow you to set preferences for the display of a page, and for these to be remembered the next time you return to it.
Cookies are incredibly useful – they allow modern websites to work the way people have come to expect – with every increasing levels of personalisation and rich interactive functionality.
What cookies we use
Below is a list of the different types of cookies used on this site, and an explanation of what they are used for. If you would like any more information, please get in touch.
Strictly Necessary Cookies
These cookies are necessary for the website to function. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as logging in or filling in forms.
You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.
These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site.
All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.
These cookies enable the website to provide enhanced functionality and personalisation. They may be set by us or by third party providers whose services we have added to our pages.
If you do not allow these cookies then some or all of these services may not function properly.
These cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites.
They do not store any personally identifiable information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.
The following cookies are also set by our site, however their purpose has not yet been identified. We are conducting research into these cookies and will update this page as soon as possible.
How to manage cookies
In most recent versions of Internet Explorer you select the cog icon in the top right corner, choose ‘Internet Options’ from the drop down menu, then select the ‘Privacy’ tab in the pop-up that appears.
IE uses a slider control which you can use to select different levels of privacy, although you can also select the ‘Advanced’ button for a more custom setting for allowing or blocking first and third party cookies.
It also enables you to create lists of sites where you always want to allow or block cookies. However it does not give you the ability to list the cookies you have, or selectively delete them, through this menu.
To do that – you have to use the ‘Developer Tools’, which you can get to either from the cog icon, or by hitting the F12 button on your keyboard. Then select the ‘cache’ menu and view or clear cookies options in the drop down. The problem with this is that have to be on the site in question to do this, and it is not particularly user friendly – most people would be put off by the idea of using the developer tools, because they are not developers!
Under the Internet Options>General tab you also have a tick box that you can set to delete your browsing history when you shut it down. Ticking this will mean all your cookies are deleted when you close your browser.
From Internet Explorer 10 onwards, Microsoft introduced Do Not Track functionality. This will usually have been switched on by default when the browser was first installed. To check your own settings, go to Internet Options>Advanced. Scroll down to the Security Settings, and there you will find a tick box labelled ‘Always send Do Not Track header’. If you tick or un-tick this box, you will need to re-start the browser for the change to take effect.
Google Chrome provides quite a good level of control over cookies. These can be found under the ‘Settings’ menu, which you can get to by clicking on the spanner icon in the top right hand corner.
Under ‘Advanced Settings’ you can find a section dedicated to Privacy, which includes being able to clear your browsing history – which has several settings options, including deleting all your cookies.
You can also use Chrome to send a ‘Do Not track’ signal to the websites you visit.
However, the ‘Content Settings’ button also gives access to further controls including the ability to list all cookies and delete them individually. This list also includes HTML5 local storage and databases that modern sites sometimes use instead of cookies.
With Firefox you get to the cookie settings by clicking in the menu box in the top left hand corner and selecting ‘Options’. On the pop-up, then select the ‘Privacy’ icon.
With Firefox you can tick a box that tells every website you visit that you do not want to be tracked. This functionality is known as Do Not Track (DNT), however there is no guarantee at the moment that a website will respect that request – and there are no legal requirements for them to do that.
You can also set your preferences for what Firefox will record of your browsing history, including the way it treats cookies. For example, you can choose to accept third party cookies, but have them deleted when you close the browser. Like with Chrome you can also see a list of all the cookies saved and either delete them all or delete just the ones you don’t like.
More recently, the Mozilla foundation have announced that newer releases of Firefox, most likely from June 2013 onwards, will block third party cookies by default.
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We use Google Analytics to collect information to provide better services to all of our users. Google Analytics is a system used by many websites to record information about who visits a website. Google set six different cookies with expiry dates ranging from 30 minutes to 2 years. These cookies are used mainly to differentiate between first time visitors to a website and repeat visitors. They also allow us to ensure our website performs as well as possible for our users.