When we provide services, we want to make them easy, useful and reliable. Where services are delivered on the internet, this sometimes involves placing small amounts of information on your device, for example, computer or mobile phone. These include small files known as cookies. They cannot be used to identify you personally.
These pieces of information are used to improve services for you through, for example:
- Enabling a service to recognise your device so you don’t have to give the same information several times during one task
- Recognising that you may already have given a username and password, so you don’t need to do it for every web page requested
- Measuring how many people are using services, so they can be made easier to use and there’s enough capacity to ensure they are fast.
What are cookies?
A cookie is a small text file containing a string of letter and numbers that is placed on your computer when you visit a website. Cookies are widely used by website owners to make their website work and to collect information about your visit to their website. The Cookies we use cannot be used to access any other data on your computer and cannot be used by us to personally identify you.
How do we use them?
What are Cookies used for?
We may use the following type of cookies:
Strictly necessary Cookies:
These are Cookies that are required for the operation of our website and to diagnose problems with our server.
Cookies to improve the user experience:
These are Cookies that improve your experience on our website and remember you when you return to our websites.
Cookies to provide analytics data:
To track how users, interact with our site and pages that are viewed including Google Analytics – please see https://policies.google.com/privacy
What Cookies do you use?
The cookies our site use include the following:
This is one of the four main cookies set by the Google Analytics service which enables website owners to track visitor behaviour and measure site performance. This cookie lasts for 2 years and distinguishes between users and sessions. It is used to calculate new and returning visitor statistics. The cookie is updated every time data is sent to Google Analytics.
This is one of the four main cookies set by the Google Analytics service which enables website owners to track visitor behaviour and measure site performance. This cookie determines new sessions and visits and expires after 30 minutes. The cookie is updated every time data is sent to Google Analytics. Any activity by a user within the 30-minute life span will count as a single visit, even if the user leaves and then returns to the site. A return after 30 minutes will count as a new visit, but a returning visitor.
This is one of the four main cookies set by the Google Analytics service which enables website owners to track visitor behaviour and measure site performance. It is not used in most sites but is set to enable interoperability with the older version of Google Analytics code known as Urchin. In this older version this was used in combination with the __utmb cookie to identify new sessions/visits for returning visitors. When used by Google Analytics this is always a Session cookie, which is destroyed when the user closes their browser.
This is a pattern type cookie set by Google that is used to limit the amount of data recorded by Google on high traffic volume websites.
This is an optional additional cookie set by the Google Analytics service which enables website owners to track visitor behaviour and measure site performance. This cookie is used when site owners create custom visitor-level variables for customizing what can be measured. The cookie is updated every time data is sent to Google Analytics.
This is one of the four main cookies set by the Google Analytics service which enables website owners to track visitor behaviour measure of site performance. This cookie identifies the source of traffic to the site – so Google Analytics can tell site owners where visitors came from when arriving on the site. The cookie has a life span of 6 months and is updated every time data is sent to Google Analytics.
This cookie name is associated with Google Universal Analytics – which is a significant update to Google’s more commonly used analytics service. The new service reduces the reliance on cookies in general, and only sets this and one other – _gat, although Google also say data can be collected without setting any cookies. This cookie is used to distinguishes unique users by assigning a randomly generated number as a client identifier. It is included in each page request in a site and used to calculate visitor, session and campaign data for the site’s analytics reports.
This cookie name is associated with Google Universal Analytics used to throttle the request rate – limiting the collection of data on high traffic sites. It expires after 10 minutes.
Every time the state is updated (the page reloaded) the last activity is set to the current date/time. Used to determine expiry. This is essential for logged in users, but not for guests – it is set for both.
Sets the date/time that the user last visited the site and is set for both guests and logged in users. If not set, is automatically set to 10 years ago. Affects guests and logged in users.
Tracks the last 5 pages viewed by the user, and is used primarily for redirection after logging in etc. Affects guests and logged in users.
Creates a hash and stores locally, ensures forms are being submitted securely.
How can I control cookies?