We use Google Analytics to monitor our web pages, so our site installs a cookie in your browser.
A cookie is a small piece of data from a website that’s stored in your web browser while visiting a site. When you return to the same site in the future, the website can retrieve the data stored in the cookie to remember the user's previous activity.
- Cookies cannot carry viruses, and cannot install malware on the host computer
- Google Analytics does not collect any personal information about you
- We can’t tell who you are – all we know is that someone has visited our site more than once
So what's all the fuss about?
There are lots of different types of cookies - Some are absolutely fine, while others are often seen as a bit underhanded. The three main types to understand are:
First party cookies
These are ok - you get these cookies directly from the site you're visiting. This is the kind of cookies that we use to help us track web analytics and make our site as good as it can be. If you visit any sites like Google, Facebook, Amazon, or the BBC, those sites will put a little cookie in your browser to remember your preferred settings or generally improve your experience on that site. An example of this would be the cookie that Facebook puts in your browser when you tick “remember me”. The cookie doesn’t know your password, but Facebook uses it to identify your computer and log you in.
These are cookies that your browser automatically deletes when you close it down. Because webpages have no memories, a site would normally treat a user going from page to page as a completely new visitor. Session cookies let the website keep track of your movement from page to page so it's not asking for the same information over and over again. Without session cookies, an e-commerce site would forget the items placed in your shopping basket by the time you reach the checkout.
Third party cookies
These are the ones that get a bad name - as the name suggests, these are cookies not from the site you're actually visiting, but from a third party site (usually an advertiser on the site you're visiting). If you're reading someone's blog and one of the companies advertising on that blog puts a cookie on your browser without you actually going to your webpage - that's a third party cookie. It's easy to see why these are considered to be underhanded. You will NEVER get a third party cookie from visiting our site.
For a more comprehensive list of the types of cookies that are out there, visit:
You can find out more about cookies and how they work at:
- The Information Commissioner's office: