The first type is a ‘session-based’ cookie. This means that it is only saved on your hard disk for the time you are using the website. Within the website these cookies are used to understand how users navigate through the web site.
The second type of cookie used stays on your hard disk for up to five years. This ‘persistent’ cookie helps the number of different people coming to the site be understood, rather than the total number of times the site is used. Without the persistent cookie, if you visited the site once each week for three weeks you would be counted as three separate users. On the website, these cookies are used to manage the adverts shown to visitors and to make sure that each visitor doesn’t see the same advert too often, as well as understand how frequently you use the website and any services provided on the website.
Your personal information is not stored in either type of cookie. Cookies are only used to analyse the effectiveness of the website and to help make the website better for users.
If you do not want a website to create a cookie on your computer, most web browsers provide the option to disable them. However, the website may not work properly if you reject the cookies.
If you want to know more about how cookies work and how to manage or delete them, visit the World Wide Web Consortium’s website or visit the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s website.
A web beacon – sometimes called a clear GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) or page tag – is an invisible image file installed on some of the pages. When your computer downloads this image, some information about the page that you and your computer are viewing is recorded. The information does not identify you (for example, it does not include your name or email address)….Web beacons help provide a better service to you by allowing an understanding of which areas of the site are more popular with visitors than others. Web beacons are not used to collect any personal information about you, but they allow a build up of general information about how people use this site. Certain pages on the website may also contain web beacons put in place by the advertising agencies so that a measure can be made of how useful the advertising is on other websites. Web beacon files let the agency recognise a unique cookie on your web browser, which in turn means a learning of which adverts bring users to the website. The web beacon only records a limited amount of information that includes the cookie number, the page ID and the time and date you accessed the page. It does not contain your name, address, telephone number or email address.