What’s a cookie?
- A “cookie” is a piece of information that is stored on your computer’s hard drive and which records how you move your way around a website so that, when you revisit that website, it can present tailored options based on the information stored about your last visit. Cookies can also be used to analyse traffic and for advertising and marketing purposes.
- Cookies are used by nearly all websites and do not harm your system.
If you want to check or change what types of cookies you accept, this can usually be altered within your browser settings. You can block cookies at any time by activating the setting on your browser that allows you to refuse the setting of all or some cookies. However, if you use your browser settings to block all cookies (including essential cookies) you may not be able to access all or parts of our site.
Cookies are either:
- Session cookies: these are only stored on your computer during your web session and are automatically deleted when you close your browser – they usually store an anonymous session ID allowing you to browse a website without having to log in to each page but they do not collect any personal data from your computer; or
- Persistent cookies: a persistent cookie is stored as a file on your computer and it remains there when you close your web browser. The cookie can be read by the website that created it when you visit that website again. We use persistent cookies for Google Analytics.
Cookies can also be categorised as follows:
- Necessary cookies: Necessary cookies help make a website usable by enabling basic functions like page navigation and access to secure areas of the website. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.
- Preference cookies: Preference cookies enable a website to remember information that changes the way the website behaves or looks, like your preferred language or the region that you are in.
- Statistic cookies: Statistic cookies help website owners to understand how visitors interact with websites by collecting and reporting information anonymously.
- Marketing cookies: Marketing cookies are used to track visitors across websites. The intention is to display ads that are relevant and engaging for the individual user and thereby more valuable for publishers and third party advertisers.
- Unclassified cookies: Unclassified cookies are cookies that we are in the process of classifying, together with the providers of individual cookies.
For data on what cookies we collect here at The PA Portal please see the Cookie Declaration page here.
There is a website, www.aboutcookies.org which contains further comprehensive information about cookies for a variety of browsers.