Cookies on

Cookie policy character

First, and contrary to popular belief, cookies are NOT programs. They don't do anything at all. They are simple 'text files' which you can read using the Notebook program on your own PC. Typically, they contain two pieces of information: a site name and unique user ID.

When you visit a site that uses cookies for the first time, a cookie is downloaded onto your PC. The next time you visit that site, your PC checks to see if it has a cookie that is relevant (that is, one containing the site name) and sends the information contained in that cookie back to the site.

The site then 'knows' that you have been there before, and in some cases, tailors what pops up on screen to take account of that fact. For instance, it can be helpful to vary content according to whether this is your first ever visit to a site - or your 71st.

Some cookies are more sophisticated. They might record how long you spend on each page on a site, what links you click, even your preferences for page layouts and colour schemes. They can also be used to store data on what is in your 'shopping cart', adding items as you click.

The possibilities are endless, and generally the role of cookies is beneficial, making your interaction with frequently-visited sites smoother - for no extra effort on your part. Without cookies, online shopping would be much harder.

Changing your browser cookie settings

The majority of web browsers allow you to see what cookies you have, and give you the option to accept, delete or block them.

On this page we give you the basics of how to change your setting in Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari and give you links to more detailed help.

Further down the page we provide details of the cookies we are using and what job they perform.

Cookie options in browsers.

changing cookiesMost browsers give you a range of options to help you manage your cookies. Each browser's settings are slightly different but typically you can.

. View your cookies
. Allow all cookies
. Delete all or individual cookies
. Block third party cookies
. Delete all cookies when you close your browser

If you decide to block third party cookies, while most will be the tracking cookies some might be adding useful functionality so it could impact on your browsing experience.

It is also important to know that if you set the option to delete all cookies when you close your browser any preferences, including any opt outs you have set will be deleted.

Instructions by browser

While there are differences across browser versions and operating systems such as Windows,Linux and Mac OS the instructions provide should help you find your cookie settings. For more in-depth advice we have provided links to more detailed instructions.

Google Chrome

1. Click the wrench icon on the browser toolbar.
2. Select Settings.
3. Click the Under the Hood tab.
4. Select Content settings in the "Privacy" section.
5. Click the Cookies tab in the Content Settings dialog that appears
6. Choose your preferred settings.
7. Select the Close button when you've finished.

Google Chrome allows all cookies by default, but you can restrict the behaviour of first-party and third-party cookies or even block them completely. For more detailed help on changing settings see Manage Cookies in Chrome.

Firefox 3+ for Windows

1. From the Tools menu select Options or in Linux from the Edit menu select Preferences.
2. Select the Privacy tab.
3. Select Cookies if the option is available otherwise select the option 'Use custom settings for history' from Firefox: drop down.
4. Choose your preferred settings.

Firefox 3+ for Mac

1. Choose Preferences from the Firefox menu or the Edit menu depending on which version you have.
2. Select the Privacy tab.
3. Select Cookies if the option is available otherwise select the option 'Use custom settings for history' from Firefox: drop down.
4. Choose your preferred settings.

You can configure which sites are allowed to set cookies, how long to keep them for, and view and manage your existing cookies.For more detailed help on changing settings see Enabling and disabling cookies in Firefox.

Internet Explorer 7+

1. From the Tools menu choose Internet Options.
2. Select the Privacy tab.
3. Move the slider to choose your preferred setting between Block All Cookies and Accept All Cookies.
4. For more detailed cookie settings click on Advanced, check the 'Override cookie handling' checkbox and modify the settings to your preference.

For more detailed instructions see How to Set and Customize Cookies Settings in Internet Explorer.

Safari 4

1. From the Safari menu choose Preferences.
2. Select the Privacy tab.
3. Choose your preferred settings.

For more detailed instructions see Managing cookies in Safari.

Mobile browsers

Below are links for instructions for setting your cookie preferences in the most popular mobile phone browsers.

Android - Changing Browser settings
Safari iOS - Safari web settings
Windows phone - Change privacy and other browser settings


As with most other websites, we collect and use the data contained in log files. The information in the log files include anonymous IP (internet protocol) address's, ISP (internet service provider, such as AOL or BT Internet), the browser used to visit our site (such as Internet Explorer or Firefox), the time people visited our site and which pages they visited throughout our site. This information is used to analyse and improve the pages offered as well as providing the most user-friendly navigation experience. Please note that this information cannot identify a particular individual.

Cookies And Web Beacons - Interest based advertising

We want to make advertising on as useful and interesting to you as possible and therefore we display ads based on the content of the page you are viewing.

To do this advertisers use their own cookies to provide you with targeted advertising and may use your visitor profile built on sites that you have previously visited to present you with more relevant advertisements during your visit.

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 / DoubleClick DART Cookie) information such as 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).

Google’s Interest Based Advertising is running on This allows the AdSense program to target adverts relevant to users interests based on websites that they have previously visited in the Google content network. The DoubleClick DART cookie associates your browser with relevant interest categories and uses these categories to show interest-based ads. If you don't want AdSense to store your interests users may opt out of the use of the DART cookie by visiting the Google ad and content network privacy policy.

We believe that it is useful to our users to see advertisements that are more relevant to their interests. If you are based in the European Union and would like to learn more about how advertisers use these types of cookies or to choose not to receive them, please visit If you are based in the United States and would like to learn more, please visit

You can choose to disable or selectively turn off our cookies or third-party cookies in your browser settings, or by managing preferences in programs such as Norton Internet Security. However, this can affect how you are able to interact with our site as well as other websites. This could include the inability to login to services or programs, such as logging into forums or accounts. You will still see the same number of ads as before, but they may not be as relevant. If you do wish to disable our cookies then please follow the instructions on

Third-Party Cookies

Our website uses the following third-party suppliers and partners who may also set cookies on your computer or mobile phone as you browse our website.

Cookie: _ga_0DX0PY6G4F
Description: This cookie is installed by Google Analytics.
Duration: 2 years
Type: Analytics

Cookie: _ga
Description: The _ga cookie, installed by Google Analytics, calculates visitor, session and campaign data and also keeps track of site usage for the site's analytics report. The cookie stores information anonymously and assigns a randomly generated number to recognize unique visitors.
Duration: 2 years
Type: Analytics

Cookie: _ _gads
Description: The _ _gads cookie, set by Google, is stored under DoubleClick domain and tracks the number of times users see an advert, measures the success of the campaign and calculates its revenue. This cookie can only be read from the domain they are set on and will not track any data while browsing through other sites.
Duration: 1 year 24 days
Type: Analytics

Cookie: _ _gpi
Description: Google Ads Service uses this cookie to collect information about from multiple websites for retargeting ads.
Duration: 1 year 24 days
Type: Advertisement

Cookie: test_cookie
Description: The test_cookie is set by and is used to determine if the user's browser supports cookies.
Duration: 15 minutes
Type: Advertisement

Cookie: IDE
Description: Google DoubleClick IDE cookies are used to store information about how the user uses the website to present them with relevant ads and according to the user profile.
Duration: 1 year 24 days
Type: Advertisement

Cookie: DSID
Description: This cookie is set by DoubleClick to note the user's specific user identity. It contains a hashed/encrypted unique ID.
Duration: 1 hour
Type: Advertisement

Please note that, where we embed content from third-party sites such as YouTube, you may also have cookies from these third-party websites installed on your device. does not control these cookies and you should check the privacy policy of the relevant website for more information.

Please also note that, if you use one of the 'sharing tools' on our website to share content using social networks such as Facebook, these social networks may install a cookie on your device. We do not control these cookies and you should check the privacy policy of the relevant website for more information.

Last revision 16th February 2023