A cookie is a file containing an identifier (a string of letters and numbers) that is sent by a web server to a web browser and is stored by the browser. The identifier is then sent back to the server each time the browser requests a page from the server.
Cookies can be used by web servers to identity and track users as they navigate different pages on a website and identify users returning to a website.
Cookies may be either “persistent” cookies or “session” cookies.
A persistent cookie consists of a text file sent by a web server to a web browser, which will be stored by the browser and will remain valid until its set expiry date (unless deleted by the user before the expiry date).
A session cookie, on the other hand, will expire at the end of the user session, when the web browser is closed.
The only cookies currently in use are used to support analysis and understanding of how people use the website (what they like most, when is the busiest time of day on the site, have people found new content when it is published, etc). This analysis is to help improve the usage and effectiveness of the website. The data collection and reporting behind this analysis is currently provided by Google Analytics. Users continued use will indicate agreement to the use of a google analytical cookie. More information on this cookie and advice on how to stop this cookie being used is set out below.
The cookies in use to deliver Google Analytics service are described in the table below.
Cookie: __utma, __utmb, __utmc, __utmv, __utmz.
Title: Google Analytics
Description: These cookies are used to store information, such as what time your current visit occurred, whether you have been to the site before, and what site referred you to the web page.
These cookies contain no personally identifiable information but they will use your computer’s IP address to know from where in the world you are accessing the Internet.
Google stores the information collected by these cookies on servers in the United States. Google may transfer this information to third-parties where required to do so by law, or where such third-parties process the information on Google’s behalf.
For more information on the usage of cookies by Google Analytics please see the Google website. A link to the privacy advice for this product is provided below for your convenience.
Facebook users can opt out from Facebook ad targeting using this link: http://optout.aboutads.info/#!/
Information about cookies: All About Cookies
Internet Advertising Bureau: Guide to online advertising and privacy
International Chamber of Commerce United Kingdom: ICC UK cookie guide