When we provide services, we want to make them easy, useful and reliable. This sometimes involves placing small amounts of information on your device, for example, computer or mobile phone. These include small files known as cookies. They cannot be used to identify you personally.

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 during one task
  • Recognising that you have already given a username and password so you don’t need to enter it for every web page requested
  • Measuring how many people are using services, so they can be made easier to use and that there is enough capacity to ensure they are fast
  • Measuring the performance of and delivering targeted display advertising campaigns

You can manage these small files yourself and learn more about them from AllAboutCookies.org.

Cookies for measuring website usage

Google Analytics cookies: _utma, _utmb, _utmc, _utmv, _utmd,_utmz

We use Google Analytics to collect information about how people use this site. We do this to make sure it’s meeting its users’ needs and to understand how we could do it better.

Google Analytics stores information about what pages you visit, how long you are on the site, how you got here and what you click on. We do not collect or store your personal information (e.g. your name or address) so this information cannot be used to identify who you are. We do not allow Google to use or share our analytics data.

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