What are cookies and how do they work?
A cookie is a text file containing information that can be remembered by a web browser between pages. When an individual uses a web browser to access the internet their browser can create cookies which are stored on the user’s computer. Cookies are not programs and therefore cannot contain viruses or other malicious software. They are purely a string of text and numbers.
Session cookies only last during a single visit. When you close your web browser the session cookie information is automatically removed from your computer.
Persistent cookies are stored by the user's web browser even when the web browser has been closed, so that the next time a user goes back to the website that originally set the cookie, the web site can read information back from the cookie. Persistent cookies have an expiry date which controls when they are automatically deleted. This can be anything from a few minutes to several years, depending on your own browser settings.
This website uses two session cookies which are set by the computer systems that run this website. These cookies are used as part of the process of sending web pages to the user's web browser and are essential - no website using Microsoft technology will work without these cookies.
A number of persistent cookies are also set by the computers that run this website. These cookies are solely used to record technical information necessary for our web servers to work properly. No personally identifiable information is stored in these cookies.
How to delete your browser cookies
In Internet Explorer:
- Select Tools, Internet Options and on the small window you will see the Delete button. Clicking this will bring up the next window.
- Tick the options relevant and then Delete. On the previous window from step 1 you can then click OK to apply and close.
- You can set your browser to delete history and cookies every time you close your browser by ticking Delete browsing history on the window from step 1.
In Google Chrome:
- Click the menu button on the right of your address bar and go to History. This will open a new tab to show your settings.
- You can then click Clear browsing data.
- Tick the boxes that you want to apply and then Clear browsing data to confirm.
- Select Tools and then Options to get to your settings.
- Click Privacy and then remove individual cookies where it will open another window on your screen.
- You can then select to delete individual cookies or all cookies on your browser.
- To change your settings for your browser history and cookies, please select Use customer setting for history from the drop down box.
- You can then choose your preferences for browser history and cookies by using the tick boxes and the drop down box. Click OK and your settings will save.