CookiesThis page contains information on what 'cookies' are, the cookies used by this site, how to switch cookies off in your browser, how to specifically disable third party advertising cookies, and some useful links for further reading on the subject.
What are 'cookies'?
'Cookies' are small text files that are stored by the browser (e.g. Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome or Safari) on your computer or mobile phone. They allow websites to store such things as user preferences. You can think of cookies as providing a "memory" for the website, enabling it to recognise a user and respond appropriately.
A visit to a page on this site can generate the following types of cookie:
• Site performance cookies
• Anonymous analytics cookies
• Registration cookies
• Third party cookies
• Session cookies
Site performance cookies
This type of cookie remembers your preferences for tools found on this site, so you don't have to re-set them each time you visit. Examples could be:
• Volume settings for an audio player
• Video streaming speeds that are compatible with your browser
Anonymous analytics cookies
Every time a user visits our website, web analytics software provided by a third party generates an anonymous analytics cookie.
These cookies can tell us whether or not you have visited the site before. Your browser will tell us if you have these cookies, and if you don't, we generate new ones. This allows us to track how many individual unique users we have, and how often they visit the site. These cookies cannot be used to identify individuals; they are used for statistical purposes only.
If you register with this site, we generate cookies that signal whether you are signed in or not.
Our servers use these cookies to work out which account you are signed in with, and if you are allowed access to a particular service.
If you have not selected 'keep me signed in,' your cookies get deleted when you either close your browser or shut down your computer.
Third party cookies
On some pages of the this site, third parties might also set their own anonymous cookies, for the purposes of tracking the success of their application, or customising the application for you. Because of how cookies work, this site cannot access these cookies, nor can the third parties access the data in cookies used by this site.
For example, if you share a page using a social media sharing button on this site, the social network that has created the button will record that you have done this.
Without session cookies, this website and its server has no memory. A session cookie enables swift passage from one place to the next, ensures that you are recognised when you move from page to page within the site and that any information you have entered is remembered for the duration of your visit.
All session cookies are automatically destroyed and all information forgotten after you have left this site.
How do I turn cookies off?
It is usually possible to stop your browser accepting cookies, or to stop it accepting cookies from a particular website. For example, we cannot tell if you are signed in without using cookies, so you would not be able to use any functions which required that you are signed in.
All modern browsers allow you to change your cookie settings. These settings will typically be found in the 'options' or 'preferences' menu of your browser. In order to understand these settings the following links might be helpful, otherwise you should use the 'Help' option in your browser for more details.
Cookie settings in Internet Explorer
Cookie settings in Firefox
Cookie settings in Chrome
Cookie settings in Safari web and iOS.
If you are primarily concerned about third party cookies generated by advertisers, you can turn these off by going to the Your Online Choices site.
If you would like to find out more about cookies and their use on the Internet, you may find the following links useful:
Microsoft Cookies guide
All About Cookies