What are cookies?

Cookies are small text files which are downloaded to your computer, tablet or mobile phone when you visit a website or application. The website or application may retrieve these cookies from your web browser (eg Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome) each time you visit, so they can recognise you, remember your preferences and provide you with a more secure online experience.

Generally, cookies are very useful and are a common method used by almost every website you visit because they help to make your online experience as smooth as possible. For security reasons, many websites will not function at all without the use of cookies (or other similar technologies, such as "web beacons" or "tags").

Cookies generally do not hold any information to identify an individual person, but are instead used to identify a browser on an individual machine.

Cookies can be referred to as session cookies or persistent cookies, depending on how long they are used:

  • Session cookies only last for your online session and disappear from your computer or device when you close your browser.

  • Persistent cookies stay on your computer or device after the browser has been closed and last for the period of time specified in the cookie. These persistent cookies may be checked each time you visit the site where the cookie was generated or, in the case of third-party cookies, from another site that also uses the same service.

If you would like to find out more about cookies, you can visit All About Cookies

Web beacons

Web beacons are a similar technology to cookies; and just like cookies, they can help to deliver an improved online experience. Essentially, they are a clear picture file that is used to keep track of a customer's navigation through a website or series or websites.

They may also be referred to as "tags", and are normally used by websites that use third-party traffic monitoring and tracking services, such as web analytics. Web beacons can be used in combination with cookies to gain an understanding of how a website's users navigate through the site.

If you would like to find out more about web beacons, you can visit you can visit All About Cookies

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