Some people find the idea of a website storing information on their computer or mobile device a bit intrusive, particularly when this information is stored and used by a third party without them knowing. Although this is generally quite normal, you can, if you prefer, block some or all cookies, or even delete cookies that have already been set; but you need to be aware that you might lose some functionality for any websites where you do this.
If you wish to restrict or block web browser cookies which are set up on your device, you can do this through your browser settings; the ‘Help’ function within your browser will tell you how to do this.
A cookie is a simple text file that is stored on your computer or mobile device by a website’s server. Only that server will be able to retrieve or read the contents of that cookie. Each cookie is also unique to each of your web browsers. The cookie will contain anonymous information, such as a unique identifier and the site name, and some digits and numbers.
Cookies may be set by the website 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’).
First party cookies are set by the website you are visiting, and they can only be read by that site. Third party cookies are set by a different organisation to the owner of the website you are visiting. For example, like many other website owners, we use an analytics tool from Google, which allows us to view general information about how users interact with our website. We sometime use this information to improve the online experience for our website visitors.
Session cookies are stored only temporarily during a browsing session and are deleted from the user’s device when the browser is closed.
Persistent cookies are saved on your computer for a fixed period (usually a year or so – sometimes longer) and are not deleted when the browser is closed. Persistent cookies are used where we need to know who you are for more than one browsing session to make the website work better for you.
Alternatively, you may wish to visit www.aboutcookies.org which contains comprehensive information on how to manage cookies for a wide variety of desktop browsers.
We also recommend that you visit the BBC cookies web page to find out more from a reputable third party organisation. You will find a lot of useful information at www.bbc.co.uk/privacy/cookies.