Cookies

What Is A Cookie?

Most websites you visit will use cookies in order to improve your user experience by enabling that website to ‘remember’ you, either for the duration of your visit (using a ‘session cookie’) or for repeat visits (using a ‘persistent cookie’).

Cookies do lots of different jobs, like letting you navigate between pages efficiently, storing your preferences, and generally improving your experience of a website. Cookies make the interaction between you and the website faster and easier. If a website doesn't use cookies, it will think you are a new visitor every time you move to a new page on the site - for example, when you enter your login details and move to another page it won’t recognise you and it won’t be able to keep you logged in.

Some websites will also use cookies to enable them to target their advertising or marketing messages based for example, on your location and/or browsing habits.

Cookies may be set by the website you are visiting (‘first party cookies’) or they may be set by other websites that run content on the page you are viewing (‘third party cookies’).


What is in a cookie?

A cookie is a simple text file that is stored on your computer or mobile device by a website's server and only that server will be able to retrieve or read the contents of that cookie. Each cookie is unique to your web browser. It will contain some anonymous information such as a unique identifier and the site name and some digits and numbers. It allows a website to remember things like your preferences or what's in your shopping basket.


What to do if you don't want cookies to be set

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 you may not, for example, want to see advertising that has been targeted to your interests. 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 functions of that website.


Cookie Settings

If you don't want to receive certain categories of cookies on this website, you can change your cookie settings via your browser; your browser help function will tell you how. Alternatively, you may wish to visit www.aboutcookies.org, which contains comprehensive information on how to do this on a wide variety of desktop browsers.

Note: This website does work without cookies, but you will lose some features and functionality if you choose to disable cookies.


1.  Strictly Necessary Cookies

These cookies are strictly necessary to enable you to move about the site or to provide certain features you have requested. Without these cookies, we will not be able to provide certain features, such as login to member areas.


Cookie Name What does it do? Provider
ASPSESSIONID This temporary, session cookie is used to identify you as a user between page loads. It is needed if you login to member-only areas. This cookie is destroyed each time you close your browser. bpha


2.  Performance Cookies

These cookies help to improve the performance of the website, providing a better user experience and helping you find the information you are looking for faster.


Cookie Name What does it do? Provider
_utma This cookie helps us determine the number of unique visitors to our website. Google Analytics
_utmb We use this Google Analytics cookie to help us to record the length of individual sessions from our users on our website. Each time you move to a new page within our website within 30 minutes of arriving the cookie updates so that we know that you are still actively using our website within a single session. Google Analytics
_utmc Similar to _utmb, we use this Google Analytics cookie to help us record the length of individual sessions on our website. Google Analytics
_utmz This cookie helps us determine the referral method for people visiting our website. This helps us to analyse the traffic arriving at our website and to determine which are the most popular routes (e.g. direct, search engine search, email link). Google Analytics

3.  Third Party Cookies

To enhance our content, we sometimes embed photos, video and social media content from websites such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Pages with this embedded content may present cookies from these websites. Similarly, when you use one of the share buttons on our website, a cookie may be set by the service you have chosen to share content through. This web site does not control the dissemination of these cookies. You should check the relevant third party website for more information about these.


Further reading

BBC cookie Information - Our thanks and credit to the BBC for providing a significant amount of this information about cookies

Aboutcookies.org

Wikipedia

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