Cookies are small pieces of data, stored in text files, that are stored on your computer or other device when websites are loaded in a browser. They are widely used to ‘remember’ you and your preferences, either for a single visit (through a ’session cookie’) or for multiple repeat visits (using a ‘persistent cookie’). They ensure a consistent and efficient experience for visitors, and perform essential functions such as allowing users to register and remain logged in. Cookies may be set by the site that you are visiting (known as ‘first party cookies’), or by third parties, such as those who serve content or provide advertising or analytics services on the website (‘third party cookies’).

Both websites and HTML e-mails may also contain other tracking technologies such as ‘web beacons’, or ‘pixels’. These are typically small transparent images that provide us with statistics, for similar purposes as cookies. They are often used in conjunction with cookies, though they are not stored on your computer in the same way. As a result, if you disable cookies, the web beacons may still load, but their functionality will be restricted.