What are cookies?
Cookies are stored on your computer –they’re not associated with an individual, just with the browser that’s being used. That’s why information you view on your work computer isn’t remembered when you go home. They don’t store personally identifiable information.
Session or persistent cookies
Some cookies are session cookies. This means they’re deleted when you close your web browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari etc.). These are the cookies typically used when you log into a bank or make an online purchase.
Other cookies are persistent. This means they remain on your computer until they expire. This can be a fixed time after you have visited the website (e.g. one year) or a particular date (e.g. 31 December 2015). These cookies are used to remember information between visits to a website. For example, if you tell the BBC website to remember which weather forecast you want to see, it will use a cookie to remember that.
First or third party cookies
First party cookies are set by the site you’re visiting. In the example above, the cookie would be set by the BBC. They’re only read when you go back to the same site again
Third party cookies are set by someone other than the site owner. These may be set by agencies who have placed adverts on a site you visit, by analytics programs that help site owners know how well their site is working and similar organisations. If you go to another site that uses the same advert provider, the cookie may be read again, and the advertising agency will be able to recognise that the same computer has visited this site too. This information is generally used by agencies to target adverts, so you’re more likely to see adverts for products you are interested in.
We use transient session cookies. This cookie is erased when you close the web browser.
The session cookie is store in temporary memory and is not retained after the browser is closed. Session cookies do not collect information from your computer. They typically store information in the form of a session identification that does not personally identify you.
How can you control and delete cookies?
As the means by which you can do this varies from browser to browser, please follow the instructions provided by the specific browser you use (usually located under the ‘Help’, ‘Tools’ or ‘Edit’ function).
Alternatively, an external resource is available at aboutcookies.org which provides comprehensive information about cookies and how to manage them to suit your preferences on a wide variety of browsers. You’ll also find details on how to delete cookies from your computer (including those from this visit) as well as more general information about cookies. To find out how to do this on the browser of your mobile device, you’ll need to refer to your handset manual.
As mentioned above, some of our services require cookies in your browser to help protect your financial and personal information. If you choose to set your browser to disable cookies, you may not be able to access secure areas of this site (including online payment functionality).