Cookies

What are cookies?

These pieces of information are used to improve services for you through, for example:

  • enabling a service to recognise your device so you don’t have to give the same information several times during one task
  • recognising that you may already have given a username and password so you don’t need to do it for every web page requested
  • measuring how many people are using services, so they can be made easier to use and there’s enough capacity to ensure they are fast
  • analysing anonymised data to help us understand how people interact with govt services so we can make them better

You can manage these small files and learn more about them here All About Cookies.org. There’s also a cookies awareness video (below) and further information on how to remove cookies at About Cookies: how to control cookies.

First-party cookies (cookies set by us)

These are cookies set by our web domain known as ‘first-party’ cookies. Some are necessary to the functionality of the site, others provide information to us that we analyse to monitor and improve the site. These first-party cookies do not store or collect any personal information or anything that makes you personally identifiable to us. Typically, the cookies generate a random, unique number to store information about a user.

Cookies for measuring website usage

Google Analytics cookies: _utma, _utmb, _utmc, _utmv, _utmd,_utmz
  • Purpose: to record how many people are using the website and how they move around the site once they’ve arrived. Google’s privacy policy
  • Data stored by cookies:
    • _utma stores each user’s number of visits, time of the first visit, the previous visit and the current visit
    • _utmb and _utmc checks how long a visitor stays on the site: when a visit starts and ends
    • _utmz tracks where a visitor came from (search engine, search keyword, link)
    • _utmv and _utmd track visitor journeys through the site and classifies them into groups
  • Duration of cookies:
    • _utma expires two years after your last visit to this site
    • _utmb expires 30 minutes after your visit, or after 30 minutes of inactivity
    • _utmc expires at the end of a session (when you close your browser)
    • _utmz expires six months after it was last set
    • _utmv (not set) expires immediately
    • _utmd (not set) expires immediately
  • Where it is used: all pages of our website

How to control and delete cookies

We will not use cookies to collect personally identifiable information about you. However, if you wish to restrict or block the cookies which are set by our websites, or indeed any other website, you can do this through your browser settings. The ‘Help’ function within your browser should tell you how.

Alternatively, you may wish to visit the About Cookies website, which contains comprehensive information on how to do this on a wide variety of browsers. You will also find details on how to delete cookies from your machine as well as more general information about cookies.

Please be aware that restricting cookies may have an impact upon the functionality of our website.

If you wish to view your cookie code, just click on a cookie to open it. You’ll see a short string of text and numbers. The numbers are your identification card, which can only be seen by the server that gave you the cookie.

For information on how to do this on the browser of your mobile phone you will need to refer to your handset manual. To opt-out of third-parties collecting any data regarding your interaction on our website, please refer to their websites for further information.