When we provide services, we want to make them easy, useful and reliable. Where services are delivered on the internet, this sometimes involves placing small amounts of information on your computer, mobile phone or tablet. These are known as cookies. They cannot be used to identify you personally.
What are cookies?
Cookies are used to improve services for you by:
- enabling a service to recognise your computer 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 that popular services can be made easier and faster to use
- analysing anonymous data to help us understand how people interact with government services so we can make them better
What do cookies look like?
If you click on a cookie you'll see a short string of text and numbers. The numbers are your identification card, which can only be seen by the website server that gave you the cookie.
This website uses a variety of cookies. The page below provides more details about why we use them and how long they will last.
How to manage your cookies
Your browser is the way you access the internet for example:
- Internet Explorer
The ‘Help’ function within your browser should tell you how you can restrict or block cookies.
For information on how to restrict or block cookies on the browser of your mobile phone you will need to refer to your handset manual.
Alternatively, you will also find details on how to restrict or delete cookies on a wide variety of browsers, as well as more general information about cookies, on the About Cookies website through the following link.
Please be aware that restricting cookies may impact on the way our website works for you.
Cookies on social networking websites
We have links to social networking websites (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube). These websites may place cookies on your computer.
The social networking sites that this website links to are third party sites and this website does not have any control over the way that these sites use your data. You should read their respective privacy policies carefully to find out what happens to any data that is collected when you use these services and to consider whether you want to opt out.
Twitter is a social networking service. Users send short updates, or mini-blogs (known as tweets), that are no more than 280 characters long. You can collect followers and follow other users. You can also tag words and search tags to find out what other people are talking about.
Facebook is a social networking website that has millions of users worldwide. You register and create a profile. You can then add friends to your profile and exchange information with friends. Facebook also allows people to start groups and fan pages as well as bookmarking other web pages.
YouTube is a video hosting and distribution platform owned by Google, it adheres to Google's privacy policies and principles.
Instagram is a photo and video sharing social networking service owned by Facebook. The app allows users to upload media that can be edited with filters and organised by hashtags and geographical tagging. Posts can be shared publicly or with pre-approved followers.