Apart from being deliciously munchable biscuits, what are cookies?
Cookies are small encrypted text files that are sent to your browser from the websites you visit, and are stored on your device.
What do they do? (The human-friendly version)
Like cookies for munching on, they come in lots of different flavours. On our website, some are used to make the website shopping cart work correctly. Others are used by your browser and yet others are used by Google's Analytics software to help us spot (amongst other things) where the website isn't as helpful as it should be.
It's possible to disable cookies if you wish (details below), which means some of the useful things we just mentioned won't work or will be a bit limited.
By using our site we're assuming you're happy to carry on using cookies.
The legal bit:
We use the following types of cookies on the website:
These are temporary cookies that remain until you leave our web site or close the browser window. We use these to carry information across pages of our web site and in some cases, to prevent data from needing to be re-entered into forms.
We additionally make use of analytical cookies through Google Analytics. These cookies help us compile anonymous statistics that allow us to understand how visitors are using our web site, which pages are being visited, and help us improve it and its content. These cookies do not identify visitors personally.
Our use of Google Analytics will set the following cookies on your device (information taken from code.google.com/apis/analytics/docs/concepts/gaConceptsCookies.html)
This cookie is typically written to the browser upon the first visit to your site from that web browser, and is used to determine unique visitors to a site and is updated with each page view
This cookie is used to establish and continue a user session with your site. When viewing a page, the Google Analytics code attempts to update this cookie. If it does not find the cookie, a new one is written and a new session is established. Each time a user visits a different page on your site, this cookie is updated to expire in 30 minutes, thus continuing a single session for as long as user activity continues within 30-minute intervals.
Historically, this cookie operated in conjunction with the __utmb cookie to determine whether or not to establish a new session for the user.
This cookie stores the type of referral used by the visitor to reach your site, whether via a direct method, a referring link, a website search, or a campaign such as an ad or an email link. It is used to calculate search engine traffic, ad campaigns and page navigation and is updated with each page view.
Google offers an opt-out tool available at tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout which allows you to opt out of all their Analytics tracking for all web sites as an add-on to most popular browsers
Third Party Cookies
Our website also carries embedded 'share' buttons to enable users of the site to easily share articles with their friends through a number of popular social networks. These sites may also set cookies when you are also logged in to their service. We do not control the dissemination of these cookies and you should check the relevant third party website for more information about these cookies.
To read more about cookies, what they mean, what they can be used for and why we have made this statement, please visit www.aboutcookies.org. We may amend this policy in line with future changes in legislation or best practice.