Cookies are information packets sent by web servers to web browsers and stored on your computer. Most websites use cookies to improve your user experience by automatically storing information either just for the duration of your current visit (in a 'session' cookie) or between visits (in a 'persistent' cookie).

If either the website does not use cookies, or you refuse permission for cookies to be used, then each time you log in or navigate between pages, the website will not be able to track you and will treat you as a new user and will not keep you logged in.

Cookies may be set by the website you are visiting (‘first party cookies’) or they may be set by other websites who place content on the website you are viewing (‘third party cookies’).

What is a Cookie?

A cookie is simply a small text file that is stored by a website's server on your local computer. It can only be accessed and modified by the same website server. The cookie is identified by the website's name and some numbers. The contents are usually an anonymised identifier that allows the server to record your preferences and perhaps the contents of your shopping basket.

Refusing Cookies

If you find the idea of cookies intrusive, it is possible to block cookies either completely or selectively. You can also delete cookies from previous visits to websites. It is important to bear in mind that cookies can store login details and deleting or preventing them may result in reduced functionality.