A cookie is a small, often encrypted,
stored on your device's hard drive, and is read by your web browser. Contrary to what many people
may believe, this file is not a virus and it cannot harm your computer.
Cookies are used to perform a variety of functions. These can be
categorised as below.
Strictly necessary cookies These cookies are
essential in order to enable you to move around the website and use its features, such as accessing
secure areas of the website. Without these cookies services you have asked for, like shopping
baskets or e-billing, cannot be provided.
Performance cookies These cookies collect information
about how you use a website and report any error messages from relevant webpages. For example
website owners will use performance cookies to follow which webpages you’ve read to
determine which parts of a website are most engaging. Information collected using these cookies is
aggregated and therefore anonymous. In general, these cookies are used to help improve how a website
works from both a user and technical perspective.
Functionality cookies These cookies allow websites to
remember choices you make (for example, your user name, language or the region you are in) and
provide enhanced, more personal features such as local weather reports. These cookies can also be
used to remember changes you have made to text size, fonts and other parts of webpages that you can
customise. They may also be used to provide services you have asked for such as watching a video.
The information these cookies collect may be anonymised and they cannot track your browsing activity
on other websites.
Targeting or Advertising Cookies These cookies are
used to deliver adverts more relevant to you and your interests. They are also used to limit the
number of times you see an advertisement as well as help measure the effectiveness of advertising
campaigns. They are usually placed by advertising networks with the website owner’s
permission. They remember that you have visited a website and this information is shared with other
organisations such as advertisers. Quite often targeting or advertising cookies will be linked to
website functionality provided by the other organisation.
long do cookies last?
Depending on their use, cookies can last for different lengths of
Session cookies are created temporarily and are only stored for as long as you browse the
website. They expire as soon as you leave the website or when you close your web browser.
Persistent cookies remain on your device for a fixed period of time which
is defined within the cookie. This allows the website to recognise your device
again when you return to that website from your device.
First party cookies are set by the website that you are visiting and
can only be read by that website.
Third party cookies are set by an entity other than the owner of the website. This might be
for the purposes of advertising, website measurement, or being able to watch a video on the website.
Adobe uses a particular type of cookie called a ‘Local
Shared Object’, which is typically collected if you watch a video for example that uses
the Adobe Flash media player, i.e. an embedded YouTube video on a page that is being played via
Flash. Please note that these types of cookie will not be found on iPads, which do not support
Flash. Have a look at Adobe's website if you want to control Flash cookies on your device. If you’ve
got a Firefox browser you can also get an add-on to detect and delete Flash cookies.
Web beacons, sometimes referred to as ‘web bugs’, are small
single-pixel transparent image files. They allow website owners to know when a visitor has reached
their website and are used in conjunction with cookies to allow further website tracking. These
files are not viruses and are useful in helping website owners to make your web-browsing experience