A cookie is a small file of letters and numbers that is downloaded on to your computer when you visit a website. Cookies are used by many websites and can do a number of things, such as remembering your preferences, recording what you have put in your shopping basket, and counting the number of people looking at a website.
First-party cookies are set by the website, you are visiting and they can only be read by that site.
Third-party cookies are set by a different organisation to the owner of the website you are visiting. For example the website might use a third-party analytics company who will set their own cookie to perform this service. The website you are visiting may also contain content embedded from, for example, YouTube, and these sites may set their own cookies.
More significantly, a website might use a third-party advertising network to deliver targeted advertising on their website. These may also have the capability to track your browsing across different sites. It is important to note that advertising cookies are not set for visitors to the fincap.org.uk website.
Session cookies are stored only temporarily during a browsing session and are deleted from the user’s device when the browser is closed.
This type of cookie is saved on your computer for a fixed period (usually a year or longer) and is not deleted when the browser is closed. Persistent cookies are used where we need to know who you are for more than one browsing session. For example we use this type of cookie to store your preferences, so that they are remembered for the next visit.
You can use your web browser (eg Internet Explorer) to:
- delete all cookies
- block all cookies
- allow all cookies
- block third-party cookies
- clear all cookies when you close the browser
- open a ‘private browsing’ session, and
- install add-ons and plug-ins to extend browser functionality.
Where to find information about controlling cookies
We use a number of cookies in order to deliver the best service we can. The following shows the cookies we use, their use, when they expire.
- _starter-ruby-rails_session (1st party cookie - to manage your session when signed in to the Evidence Hub - expiry set to 2 weeks)
- remember_user_token (1st party cookie - to manage your session when signed in to the Evidence Hub - expiry set to 2 weeks)
- _ga (1st party cookie - for Universal Analytics (Google), site analytics - expiry set to 2 years)
- _utma (1st party cookie - for Universal Analytics (Google), site analytics - expiry set to 2 years)
- _utmb (1st party cookie - for Universal Analytics (Google), site analytics - expiry set to 30 min)
- _utmc (1st party cookie - for Universal Analytics (Google), site analytics - expires at the end of the session)
- _utmz (1st party cookie - for Universal Analytics (Google), site analytics - expiry set to 6 months)
We may use a number of third party cookies in order to deliver the best service we can. The following shows the cookies we use, their use, when they expire.
We use a number of suppliers who may also set cookies on their websites on its behalf. The Money Advice Service does not control the dissemination of these cookies. You should check the third-party websites for more information about these.
A number of websites provide detailed information on cookies, including:
- AllAboutCookies.org and What are cookies.com.
- The Internet Advertising Bureau website Your Online Choices allows you to install opt-out cookies across different advertising networks.
- Google has developed a browser add-on to allow users to opt out of Google Analytics across all websites which use this popular analytics product.
- New technologies such as Mozilla’s Do Not Track allow you to tell websites not to track you.
- Internet Explorer has a feature called Tracking Protection Lists which allows you to import a list of websites you want to block.
- You can also find more information on Wikipedia.