A cookie is a small data file that can be transferred by a web server onto your computer's hard drive when you visit a website. The information stored in a cookie can be read by the web server and is used to allow a website to recognise your computer when you revisit a website or browse from page to page of a website. Only the web server that sent the cookie can read and therefore use, that particular cookie.
Cookies can help a website to arrange content to match users' preferred interests more effectively and/or avoid the need for users to re-enter data when they revisit a website. Cookies are commonly used on the internet and do not harm your computer or computer files.
We also use cookie technology to ensure that, where you have registered for any of our online services, we maintain your confidentiality and security as you move through secure or password protected areas of the website.
When you visit the website, our server will record your IP address, the date, time and duration of your visit and which areas of the website you visit. Your IP address is an assigned number allocated to your browser when you log on to the internet which acts as the 'address' of your computer whilst you are online and enables web servers to locate and deliver content to you. It is usually allocated on a temporary basis, i.e. for the duration of your session online.
Cookie-derived information is anonymous and represents a computer rather than a person. You cannot be personally identified from it and we use it solely on an anonymous, aggregated basis.
Some of our web pages may contain electronic images known as web beacons (sometimes known as clear gif's) that allow us to count users who have visited these pages. web beacons collect only limited information, which includes a cookie number, time and date of a page viewed and a description of the page on which the web beacon resides. We may also carry web beacons placed by third party advertisers. These Beacons do not carry any personally identifiable information and are only used to track the effectiveness of a particular campaign.
You are not obliged to accept a cookie that we (or any other web server) send to you. Most browsers accept cookies automatically but you can modify the settings in your browser to turn off this feature. However, cookies are integral to some areas of the website and to certain parts of our online services, so if you do choose not to accept cookies from us, you may not be able to utilise some areas of the website and we may not be able to provide certain online services to you.
If you would like to accept or decline cookies, you can find help about modifying your browser by visiting: AboutCookies.org.