What is a cookie?
Cookies are small text files containing small amounts of information which are downloaded to your computer or mobile device when you access our Digital Applications. Cookies are then sent back to the originating website on each subsequent visit, or to another website that recognises that cookie.
Cookies are useful because they allow our Digital Applications to recognise your device. We use them to make our Digital Applications work, or work more efficiently, as well as to store information about your preferences or past actions. You can find out more information about cookies at www.allaboutcookies.org.
What types of cookies do we use and how?
We use the following types of cookies:
• ‘session cookies’: these are allocated to your device only for the duration of your visit to our Digital Applications – they are deleted automatically once you close your browser; and
• ‘permanent cookies’: these survive after your browser is closed and can remain on your device for a period of time – they can be used by our Digital Applications to recognise your computer or mobile device when you open your browser and browse the internet again.
These cookies may be served directly by us to your computer or mobile device (so-called ‘first-party cookies’) or by one of our service providers (so-called ‘third-party cookies’). A first-party cookie is only used by us to recognise your computer or mobile device when you revisit, or access content via, our Digital Applications. Third-party cookies can be used to recognise your computer or mobile device across different websites (and are most often used for analytical and advertising purposes).
• essential cookies: these are essential to provide you with services available through our Digital Applications and to use some of their features, such as access to secure areas – without these, providing core functionality, such as transactional pages and secure login accounts, would not be possible;
• analytics cookies: these are used to collect information about how you and others use our Digital Applications – the information gathered does not identify you and is aggregated – this includes the number of visitors to our Digital Applications, the websites or other applications that referred them to our Digital Applications and the pages that they visited on our Digital Applications – we use this information to help operate our Digital Applications more efficiently, to gather broad demographic information and to monitor the level of activity on our Digital Applications;
• functionality cookies: these allow our Digital Applications to remember choices you make (such as your user name or the region you are in) and provide enhanced, more personal features – they can also be used to remember changes you have made to text size, fonts and other parts of web pages that you can customize – they may also be used to provide services you have asked for, such as watching a video or commenting on a blog – the information these cookies collect may be anonymised and they cannot track your browsing activity on other websites.
• performance cookies: these collect information about how you and others use our Digital Applications, for example, which pages are most visited, if error messages come up and how effective our online promotions are – they are only used to help us improve how our Digital Applications work and to ensure ease and speed of use;
• marketing cookies: these facilitate online advertising – our Digital Applications, for instance, use remarketing with Google – third-party vendors, including Google, use these cookies to tailor adverts based on someone’s past visits to our Digital Applications and serve these across the web – you can set preferences for how Google advertises to you using the Google Ads Settings; and
• social media cookies: these are used when you share information using a social media sharing button or “like” button on our Digital Applications or you link your account or engage with our content on or through a social networking site such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Google+ – the social network will then record that you have done this and the information may be linked to advertising activities such as targeted banners.
What particular cookies do we use?
The following are our own cookies; they are controlled by us and used to provide information about usage of our Digital Applications. These are all session cookies and automatically expire when you close down your browser:
• CookieControl: this remembers the selection on the Cookie Banner
We use a number of suppliers who may also set cookies on their websites on their behalf. We do not control the use of these cookies, so you should check the third party websites for more information about them.