What is a cookie?
A cookie is a small text file that we, and in certain circumstances third parties, place on your browser when you visit our websites or open some of our emails. Cookies, amongst other things, allow us to recognise you each time you re-visit one of our websites and provide you with a more personalised user experience. There are in existence a variety of different cookies which are designed for use in specific sets of circumstances.
When you initially enter one of our sites we may place an anonymous cookie on your browser to enable us to recognise you the next time you visit the website. We may also place a further cookie on your browser when you register for one of our services, this will enable us to remember you next time you come to sign in, eliminating the need for you to re-enter your login details and customising your future uses of our sites.
Cookies may also be used to track your use of us websites to better develop them, for example, determining which parts of the websites are more popular and determining content accordingly.
We may also place cookies on your browser to provide you with behavioural advertising and monitor the advertising on our sites to, amongst other things, ensure that you are not subjected to intrusive advertising.
Small pieces of code called pixel tags, web beacons or GIF files, are used in conjunction with cookies to help us manage and monitor our online advertising and wider business arrangements with third parties. These files will allow us to aggregate anonymous information relating to advertising and website usage. The type of information collected includes, but is not limited to, information relating to advertising responses, page views, promotion views and purchases made. Such pixel tags may be used to recognise third party cookies (cookies generated by third parties) and inform us and/or third parties of which advertisement or link brought you to our website, allowing us to monitor the efficacy of our business relationships with third parties. Please see the section below entitled ‘Use of different cookies’ for more detail on the various cookies in use by us and how they work.
If you do not want your browser to accept cookies and use them in the ways described above it is possible to change your browser settings. It is also possible to delete existing cookies from your browser. However blocking all cookies will affect your web experience and may result in some parts of our website not functioning properly.The procedure for modifying your privacy preferences is different for each internet browser and we recommend you visit the following websites for further information on altering your cookie settings:
For more detailed information on how to clear or disable all of your browser cookies, please go to http://www.google.com/support/accounts/bin/answer.py?answer=32050&hl=en
Use of different cookies
We will use different cookies at various different stages of your use of our websites.
- We use site cookies to help the web site work properly for example, by storing search order preferences
- We use tracking and analytical cookies to track where site visitors come from, the browser they are using and which ISP they are using
- We also use third party advertisements to support our site. Some of these advertisers may use technology such as cookies and web beacons when they advertise on our site, which will also send these advertisers (such as Google through the Google AdSense program) information including your IP address, your ISP , the browser you used to visit our site, and in some cases, whether you have Flash installed. This is generally used for geotargeting purposes (showing New York real estate ads to someone in New York, for example) or showing certain ads based on specific sites visited (such as showing cooking ads to someone who frequents cooking sites)
- Third party affiliate links, when clicked on, may leave their own tracking cookies