What is a cookie?

A cookie is a small amount of data, which often includes a unique identifier that is sent to your computer or mobile phone (referred to here as a "device") browser from a website's computer and is stored on your device's hard drive. Each website can send its own cookie to your browser if your browser's preferences allow it, but (to protect your privacy) your browser only permits a website to access the cookies it has already sent to you, not the cookies sent to you by other sites. Many sites do this whenever a user visits their website in order to track online traffic flows.

Cookies record information about your online preferences and allow us to tailor the websites to your interests. Users have the opportunity to set their devices to accept all cookies, to notify them when a cookie is issued, or not to receive cookies at any time. The last of these means that certain personalised services cannot then be provided to that user and accordingly you may not be able to take full advantage of all of this site's features. Each browser is different, so check the "Help" menu of your browser to learn how to change your cookie preferences.

During the course of any visit to this site, the pages you see, along with a cookie, are downloaded to your device. Many websites do this, because cookies enable website publishers to do useful things like find out whether the device (and probably its user) has visited the website before. This is done on a repeat visit by checking to see, and finding, the cookie left there on the last visit.

How does this website use cookies?

Information supplied by cookies can help us to analyse the profile of our visitors and help us to provide you with a better user experience. For example: if on a previous visit you selected the French language version, we might find this out from your cookie and display the French language version on your second and subsequent visits.

How to view and delete cookies

Most internet browsing software provides an easy method of reviewing and deleting cookies.

If you're using Internet Explorer 6.0 or 7.0:

  • Choose Tools, then
  • Internet Options
  • Click the Privacy tab
  • Click on Custom Level
  • Click on the 'Advanced' button
  • Check the 'override automatic cookie handing' box and select
  • Accept, Block or Prompt for action as appropriate.

If you're using Firefox 2.0:

  • Choose Tools, then
  • Options
  • Click the Privacy icon

For all other browsers, please refer to your software's Help section for more information.