What are cookies?
A cookie is a small file of letters and numbers that is downloaded on to your computer when you visit a website. Cookies are used by many websites and can do a number of things, such as remembering your preferences, recording what you have put in your shopping basket, and counting the number of people looking at a website.
First-party cookies are set by the website, you are visiting and they can only be read by that site.
Third-party cookies are set by a different organisation to the owner of the website you are visiting. For example the website might use a third-party analytics company who will set their own cookie to perform this service. The website you are visiting may also contain content embedded from, for example, YouTube, and these sites may set their own cookies.
More significantly, a website might use a third-party advertising network to deliver targeted advertising on their website. These may also have the capability to track your browsing across different sites. It is important to note that advertising cookies are not set for visitors to the Money Advice Service website.
Session cookies are stored only temporarily during a browsing session and are deleted from the user’s device when the browser is closed.
This type of cookie is saved on your computer for a fixed period (usually a year or longer) and is not deleted when the browser is closed. Persistent cookies are used where we need to know who you are for more than one browsing session. For example we use this type of cookie to store your preferences, so that they are remembered for the next visit.
How can I control my cookies?
You can use your web browser (eg Internet Explorer) to:
- delete all cookies
- block all cookies
- allow all cookies
- block third-party cookies
- clear all cookies when you close the browser
- open a ‘private browsing’ session, and
- install add-ons and plug-ins to extend browser functionality.