Where services are delivered on the internet, this sometimes involves placing small amounts of information on your device, for example, computer or mobile phone. These include small files known as cookies.
First-party cookies (cookies set by us)
Third-party cookies (cookies set by other sites through our pages)
How to control and delete cookies
What are cookies?
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 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 they can be made easier to use and there's enough capacity to ensure they are fast
- analysing anonymised data to help us understand how people interact with govt services so we can make them better
Some are necessary to the functionality of the site, others provide information to us that we analyse to monitor and improve the site. These first-party cookies do not store or collect any personal information or anything that make you personally identifiable to us. Typically, the cookies generate a random, unique number to store information about a user.
Cookies for managing your current visit
- Purpose: to store the user's session ID to allow the site to recognise your movement around the site as being from one computer
- Data stored by cookie: 1 unique chain of characters that represents your current session
- Duration of cookie:expires at the end of the session (when you close your browser)
- Purpose: to store you user name and a unique key that allows you to not have to login manually again from that browser for a set time
- Data stored by cookie: 1 unique chain of characters that represents your key, and also your username
- Duration of cookie:expires 1 month from the last login where you cliked Remember Me
- 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
Cookies for managing your login (Remember Me)
user_name & user_key
Cookies for measuring website usage
Social media cookies
Some cookies are served by an external service when you use a page on our site, known as 'third-party' cookies. For example, on a number of pages we use 'plug ins' or embedded media such as YouTube videos, links to flickr, or twitter feeds and sharing things on all sorts of other sites. These cookies are specific to the third-party site domain - the data stored in them can be seen and managed by the third party, not by us. Although we can control whether we use the third-party services within our websites we do not have control over the cookies themselves. It is not always possible to identify precisely the information that the cookies store.
Alternatively, you may wish to visit the About Cookies website, which contains comprehensive information on how to do this on a wide variety of browsers. You will also find details on how to delete cookies from your machine as well as more general information about cookies.
Please be aware that restricting cookies may have an impact upon the functionality of our website.
If you wish to view your cookie code, just click on a cookie to open it. You'll see a short string of text and numbers. The numbers are your identification card, which can only be seen by the server that gave you the cookie.
For information on how to do this on the browser of your mobile phone you will need to refer to your handset manual. To opt-out of third-parties collecting any data regarding your interaction on our website, please refer to their websites for further information.