What are cookies?
Cookies are small pieces of information that are placed on your device (for example, computer or mobile phone). They cannot be used to identify you personally. They are used to improve your experience of our website by, for example:
- enabling our website to recognise your device so you don't have to give the same information several times during one task
- recognising where you have already given a username and password so you don't need to do it for every web page requested, or for each time you return to our site
- recording items you have added to your shopping basket and your progress through online transactions
- measuring how people are using our website, so we can make it easier to navigate and ensure there's enough capacity to display page content quickly
We use a combination of session cookies (which last only for the duration of your visit and are deleted when you close your browser) and persistent cookies (which last beyond your session and remain on your computer until you choose to remove them). We do not use any third party cookies for advertising or marketing purposes.
Cookies for managing your current visit
Name Typical content Expires
site_session randomly generated text when user exits browser
Cookies for monitoring our website's performance
Google Analytics sets cookies to help us accurately measure the number of visitors to our website and patterns of usage. This helps us ensure that we are providing the right type of content, and that our website can cope with demand and deliver information quickly and easily.
Name Typical content Expires_utma randomly generated number 2 years_utmb randomly generated number 30 minutes_utmc randomly generated number when user exits browser_utmb randomly generated number 30 minutes_utmz randomly generated number + info on how the site was reached (e.g. directly or via a link, organic search or paid search) 6 months
For further details on the cookies set by Google Analytics, please refer to the Google Code website.
What if you don't want to accept cookies?
You can choose to restrict or block the cookies set by us, or any website, by adjusting your browser settings. However, if you block or restrict cookies on your machine, some areas of our website won't be able to function correctly.
Your browser settings are usually found in the 'options' or 'preferences' menu. The help function in your browser will show you how to change the settings. As well as blocking cookies, you can choose to clear your browser's cache (the record of cookies that have been placed on your device to date).