You should be aware that when you use our websites, mobile sites, or mobile apps, we or our third-party partners may collect information by using “cookies.”
What are cookies and how do they work?
Cookies are small bits of text that are downloaded to your computer or mobile device when you visit a website. Your browser sends these cookies back to the website every time you visit the site again, so it can recognize you and can then tailor what you see on the screen.
Cookies are an important part of the Internet. They make using websites much smoother and affect lots of the useful features of websites. There are many different uses for cookies, but they generally fall into five main groups.
1. Essential Cookies
Some cookies are essential so you can move around the website and use its features. Without these cookies, services you've asked for can't be provided. These cookies don't gather information about you that could be used for marketing or remembering where you've been on the internet.
Here are some examples of essential cookies.
2. Functional Cookies
These cookies allow the website to remember choices you make, such as your language or region and they provide improved features.
Here are a few examples of just some of the ways that cookies are used to improve your experience on our websites.
• Remembering your preferences and settings, including marketing preferences, such as opting in or out of marketing emails.
• Remembering if you've filled in a survey, so you're not asked to do it again.
• Remembering if you've been to the site before. If you are a first-time user, you might see different content to a regular user.
• Restricting the number of times you're shown a particular advertisement. This is sometimes called 'frequency capping'.
• Giving you access to content provided by social-media sites like Facebook or Twitter.
• Showing 'related article' links that are relevant to the page at which you're looking.
• Remembering a location you've entered such as weather forecasts.
3. Analytics Cookies
We like to keep track of what pages and links are popular and which ones don't get used so much to help us keep our sites relevant and up to date. It's also very useful to be able to identify trends of how people navigate (find their way through) our sites and if they get 'error messages' from web pages.
This group of cookies, often collectively called “analytics cookies” are used to gather this information. The information collected is anonymous and is grouped with the information from everyone else’s cookies. We can then see the overall patterns of usage rather than any one person’s activity. Analytics cookies only record activity on the site you are on and they are only used to improve how a website works.
Some of our websites and some of the emails you might get from us also contain small invisible images known as 'web beacons' or 'tracking pixels'. These are used to count the number of times the page or email has been viewed and allows us to measure the effectiveness of its marketing and emails. These web beacons are anonymous and don't contain or collect any information that identifies you. Please see the “Web Beacons and URL tracking” section below for more information on how we or our advertisers and sponsors may use web beacons on our websites.
4. Online Behavioral Advertising Cookies
OBA is based upon your web browsing activity over a period of time – so it’s different to advertising you may see when you’re looking for something online using a search engine (e.g. Google).
As an example, you may be doing research in order to buy a car and read a number of different articles on a number of different websites. If a car manufacturer was part of an advertising network, they may think that you are interested in buying a car and serve you with one of their advertisements for one of their cars. It is possible that from reading these articles elsewhere, you would see this advertisement on one of our or someone else’s websites.
Advertisers - We sell space on our sites to advertisers. The resulting advertisements often contain advertisers’ own cookies (or web beacons). The advertiser uses the browsing information collected from these cookies to:
5. Affiliate Cookies
We may use 'affiliate' cookies. Some of our web pages will contain promotional links to other companies’ sites. If you follow one of these links and then register with or buy something from that other site, a cookie is sometimes used to tell that other site that you came from one of our sites. That other site may then pay us a small amount for the successful referral. This works using a cookie. For more information, see the the Internet Advertising Bureau's guide about how affiliate marketing works
Our Inability to Control Third-Party Cookies or Web Beacons
Opting Out of Receiving Cookies
You are not obligated to accept cookies and may modify your browser so that it will not accept cookies. The browser you use not only allows you to see the cookies that you have on your device but also allows you to control their use.
You can control them by allowing them, deleting them individually or deleting all cookies. You can also set your browser to not accept cookies altogether. If this option is selected, you should be aware that many websites, including ours, will not function properly or at all.
There are different levels of control too. You are able to prevent just third-party cookies being deployed, effectively opting out of OBA, and some browsers even allow you to block specific companies you do not wish to deploy a cookie, instead of selecting all companies.
The links below take you to the help sections for each of the major browsers that will tell you how you can manage your cookies:
Additionally, the "Your Online Choices" page provided by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), provides an easy way to opt out of OBA from each (or all) of the networks represented by the IAB.
When you use one of our websites that uses Macromedia Flash Player, a small Flash Cookie may be used. The purpose of using these cookies is to store your flash player preferences and enhance your browsing experience.
Flash Cookies are stored on your computer in a similar way to standard cookies, except they are stored in a different location. Due to this, it is not possible to block or manage Flash Cookies directly from your browser.
In order to manage or delete Flash Cookies, please visit Adobe’s website, which provides full information by clicking here.
Useful information about Cookies
Further information about cookies can be found on the following websites:
Web Beacons and URL tracking
As part of our email communications and website analyses, and as part of our partners’ campaigns on our websites, we or our partners may use web beacons and tracked URL's.
Web beacons are electronic files that count users who access a website or page and can also allow us or our advertisers to see if a cookie has been activated. For example, web beacons on web pages or email communications allow us to see how successful an article may be or that an email message was successfully delivered and read.
Tracked URLs will count the amount of clicks on a web page. This allows us or our partners to edit the site according to the popularity of the advertisements you click on or articles you read.
You can't decline web beacons, however by preventing cookies being used on your computer, you can prevent web beacons from tracking your activity.