Cookies and privacy
What do you do if you do not want cookies to be set on your computer?
Some people find the notion of information being stored on their computer or mobile device a little intrusive, in particular when that information is stored and used by a third party without their knowledge. If you prefer, it is possible to block some or all cookies, or even delete cookies which have already been set, but you should be aware that you might lose some functions. To do this, you need to alter your browser privacy settings.
Some third-party operators have developed tools for disabling data collection and use via their modules.
What is a cookie?
Cookies may be set by the website which you are visiting («first party cookies») or they may be set by other websites which run content on the page you are viewing («third party cookies»).
What is in a cookie?
A cookie is a simple text file stored on your computer or mobile device by a website’s server. That server will subsequently be able to retrieve or read the contents of that cookie. Cookies are managed by your browser. Each cookie is unique and contains some anonymous information such as a unique identifier, site name, digits and letters. It allows a website to remember your browsing preferences.
Types of cookie
- First party cookies:
First party cookies are set by the website which you are visiting, and they can only be read by that site.
- Third party cookies: Third party cookies are set and used by a different organisation from the owner of the website which you are visiting. For example, to measure its audience a website might use a third-party analytics company, which will set its own cookie to perform that service. The website you are visiting may also have embedded content, e.g. YouTube videos or Flickr slideshows. Those sites may also set their own cookies.
- Session cookies:Session cookies are stored temporarily during a browsing session and are deleted from the user’s device when the browser is closed.
- Persistent cookies: Persistent cookies are saved on your computer for a fixed period (usually a year or longer) and are not deleted when the browser is closed. They are used where we need to know who you are for more than one browsing session.
- Flash cookies: Many websites use Adobe Flash Player to deliver video and infographics content to their users. Adobe uses its own cookies, which are not manageable through your browser settings. They are used by Flash Player for the same purposes served by other cookies, i.e. to store preferences or track users. Flash cookies work differently from your web browser's cookies. Instead of having specific cookies for specific functions, a website is restricted to storing all site-related data in one cookie. You can control how much information can be stored in that cookie, but you cannot choose what type of information is allowed to be stored.
Last edited: 06/08/2017