When we deliver services and information through our websites we want to make sure these are useful, reliable and easy to use. To make this happen, it sometimes involves placing small amounts of information on your device, for example, your computer or mobile phone. These include small files known as cookies. They cannot be used to identify you personally.
These pieces of information are used to improve services for you through, for example:
- enabling the websites to recognise your device so you don't have to give the same information multiple times during one task,
- measuring how many people are using online services so we can make sure that there is enough capacity to make them work efficiently, and look at ways we can make them easier to use.
Most web browsers allow some control of most cookies through the browser settings. To find out more about cookies, including how to see what cookies have been set and how to manage and delete them, visit the About Cookies website.
Cookies which may be set when you use our websites
Description: this Content Management System session cookie is a reference to you for the duration of your visit on the site. It enables us to secure our forms by checking that no one else is pretending to be you.
Duration: the cookie only lasts as long as your visit.
Description: when you select "Use a cookie to remember this" the site sets a cookie to remember who you are. This might be, for example, when logging in to the site.
Duration: this cookie will last for 1 year from when it is first set. After this time, or if you delete the cookie yourself, you will need to re-enter your details on your next visit.
Google Analytics Cookies - _utma, _utmb, _utmc, _utmz
- _utma: 2 years
- _utmb: 1 hour
- _utmc: until you close your browser
- _utmz: 6 months
Google has produced a browser add-on which enables you to opt out of Google Analytics across all websites: tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout.
YouTube Cookies - PREF, VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE, YSC
Description: these cookies are set by www.youtube.com. We use YouTube's Privacy Enhanced mode to embed video on our site which means that YouTube won't store information unless you play the video. Please refer to Google's Privacy Policies & Principles for more information.
- PREF and VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE: up to 3650 days
- YSC: expires when you close your browser
Twitter cookies - guest_id, pid
Duration: up to 2 years.