What Is A Cookie?
Cookies are small pieces of data, stored in text files, that are stored on your computer or other device when websites are loaded in a browser. They are widely used to remember you and your preferences, whether for a single visit to a website or for multiple repeat visits.
They ensure a consistent and efficient experience for visitors, and perform essential functions such as allowing users to register and remain logged in. Cookies may be set by the site that you are visiting or by third parties, such as those who serve content or provide advertising or analytics services on the website.
Why Are Cookies Used?
Cookies are a convenient way to carry information from one session on a website to another, or between sessions on related websites, without having to burden a server machine with massive amounts of data storage. Storing the data on the server without using cookies would also be problematic because it would be difficult to retrieve a particular user’s information without requiring a login on each visit to the website.
If there is a large amount of information to store, then a cookie can simply be used as a means to identify a given user so that further related information can be looked up on a server-side database. For example, the first time a user visits a site they may choose a username which is stored in the cookie, and then provide data such as password, name, address, preferred font size, page layout, etc. – this information would all be stored on the database using the username as a key. Subsequently when the site is revisited the server will read the cookie to find the username, and then retrieve all the user’s information from the database without it having to be re-entered.
What Cookies are Used?
|Type of Cookie
|Length of Time Until Erased
|Necessary cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.
|Varies between session-based cookies, and others that last
|Preference cookies enable our website to remember information that changes the way our website behaves or looks, like your preferred language or the region that you are in.
|Varies between session-based cookies, and others that last up to 2 years.
|Marketing cookies are used to track visitors across our website.
|Varies between session-based cookies, and others that last up to 30 years.
For a full list of cookies that we use, please contact us to request this information.
How Secure are Cookies?
There is a lot of concern about privacy and security on the internet. Cookies do not in themselves present a threat to privacy, since they can only be used to store information that the user has volunteered or that the web server already has. Whilst it is possible that this information could be made available to specific third-party websites, this is no worse than storing it in a central database. If you are concerned that the information you provide to a web server will not be treated as confidential then you should question whether you actually, need to provide that information at all.
How To Manage Cookies?
If using Internet Explorer, for example you select Tools then choose Internet Options. On the general tab you will see a section titled Browser History. Click Settings then choose View Files.
If you’re using a browser other than Internet Explorer, you can visit the following cookie pages on each browser Web site to find out how to manage your cookies when using Firefox, Opera, or Safari.
- Microsoft Internet Explorer: Delete and manage cookies
- Mozilla Firefox: Help: Firefox’s Cookie Options
- Opera: Web preferences
- Apple Safari: Manage cookies and website data in Safari on Mac
- Google Chrome: Turn cookies on or off
You can block cookies by activating the setting on your browser that allows you to refuse the setting of all or some cookies. However, if you use your browser settings to block all cookies (including essential cookies) you may not be able to access all or parts of our website.