What is a cookie?
Cookies are small text files that are sent by websites that you visit to recognise who you are when you return there. Their files are stored on a user’s equipment such as your computer’s hard drive or mobile device, and are read by your web browser.
How are cookies used?
What is a web beacon?
Web beacons are also sometimes referred to as ‘web bugs’ and are small single pixel transparent image files. They allow website owners to know when a visitor has reached their website, and are used in conjunction with cookies to allow further website tracking to be monitored. Again, these files are not viruses, but are useful in helping us to make your web surfing experience better.
When you visit a page on the RA website, you may be presented with cookies that we use to monitor your visit to the site, so that we can make improvements to the user experience. When you visit a page on the RA website with content embedded from a third party, such as Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo or Flickr, you may be presented with cookies from those websites. Third-party cookies may also be placed on you device by websites such as Google and Facebook, which deliver advertising based on a user’s website history. The RA does not control these third-party cookies. Please check the third party websites for more information about their cookies.
Advertising cookies are used to collect information about your browsing habits and show you adverts relevant to you and your interests. Please note, this does not mean you will see fewer adverts without these cookies, online advertisements you see may be less relevant to you and your interests.
Opting out of cookies
There are a number of options available so that you do not have to store any cookies at all. You can either set your browser so that it will not accept and store any cookie, or if you have a little more time and knowledge you are able to allow only certain ‘trusted’ sites to store cookies on your computer. These sites may include us (of course!), or the site where you carry out your online banking, or possibly your favourite news service.
It is worth bearing in mind that if you decide to delete all of your cookies, then you will likely have to re-enter all of your usernames and passwords on all of the sites that you visit, which you previously didn’t even have to think about. As we mentioned before, cookies can be a real asset to your web surfing experience.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (www.ico.org.uk) provides some advice about cookies and their use, but it also provides a link to ‘About cookies’ (www.aboutcookies.org.uk). This website provides even more information about cookies if you feel that this page and the ICO is not enough information for you, but it also details how you might delete any cookies that you find, and it also shows you how to allow those trusted sites to store their cookies on your computer.