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 harmless, if you prefer, it is possible to block some or all cookies or even to delete cookies that have already been set; but you need to be aware that you might lose some functionality for those websites where you do this.
If you wish to restrict or block web browser cookies which are set on your device then you can do this through your browser settings; the Help function within your browser should 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 who 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 use this information to improve the online experience for our website visitors.
The website you are visiting may also contain content embedded from external social media websites and these sites may also set their own cookies. We use various social media on our website – such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. This will not affect you unless you click on these links.
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 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.
Alternatively, you may wish to visit www.aboutcookies.org, which contains comprehensive information on how to do this for a wide variety of desktop browsers.
We also recommend that our website users visit the BBC cookies web page. You will find a lot of useful information here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/privacy/cookies