When we provide services, we want to make them easy, useful and reliable. Where services are delivered on the internet, this sometimes involves placing small amounts of information on your device, for example, computer or mobile phone. These include small text files known as cookies. Cookies cannot carry computer virus, harm your device or install malware.
What is a cookie?
A cookie is a piece of data sent to your device from a website. This means the website can recognise your device if you return to the same website. A cookie often includes a unique identifier and is stored on your device. Some expire at the end of your website session; others remain on your computer for longer.
These pieces of information are used to improve services for you through, for example:
- enabling a service to recognise your device so you don't have to give the same information several times during one task, e.g. filling out a web form or a web survey
- recognising that you may already have given a username and password so you don't need to do it for every web page
- measuring how many people are using services, so they can be made easier to use and there's enough capacity to ensure they are fast
- analyzing data to help us understand how people interact with the different aspects of our online services so we can make them better
For more information about cookies or if you would like to learn how to remove cookies set on your device, visit: http://www.aboutcookies.org
If you wish to restrict or block the cookies which are set by our websites, or indeed any other website, you can do this through your browser settings. The ‘Help’ function within your browser should 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 browsers. You will also find details on how to delete cookies from your machine as well as more general information about cookies.
Please be aware that restricting cookies may impact on the functionality of our website.