A cookie is a small piece of data sent from a website and stored on the user's computer by the user's web browser. Cookies were designed to be a reliable mechanism for websites to remember information or to record the user's browsing activity. They can also be used to remember arbitrary pieces of information that the user previously entered into form fields such as names or addresses.
Other kinds of cookies perform essential functions in the modern web. Perhaps most importantly, authentication cookies are the most common method used by web servers to know whether the user is logged in or not, and which account they are logged in with. Without such a mechanism, the site would not know whether to send a page containing sensitive information, or require the user to authenticate themselves by logging in.
Tracking cookies, and especially third-party tracking cookies, are commonly used as ways to compile long-term records of individuals' browsing histories – a potential privacy concern that prompted European and U.S. lawmakers to take action in 2011. European law requires all websites targeting European Union member states gain "informed consent" from users before storing non-essential cookies on their device.
We use a cookie so that we can recognise you when you visit our website and track your activity whilst on our website. The cookie only remains on your computer if you elect to store it in the user information page. The cookie we store on your computer only contains a unique reference number so that we can link you to your account with us. No personal information is contained within the cookie itself.