What is a cookie?
Cookies by Google Analytics
As a default, most browsers are set to accept cookies. However, you will be able to block all cookies should you wish to by changing your browser settings. Your browser’s “Help” function will tell you how to do this. You may also be able to configure your browser settings to block on certain types of cookie or to notify you each time a new cookie is about to be stored on your computer, so you can then accept or reject it.
All you need to do if you wish to block (avoid) the cookies is to change the settings in your internet browser. For example:
In Internet Explorer (version 9) you can block cookies using the cookie handling override settings available by clicking "Tools", "Internet Options", "Privacy" and then "Advanced";
In Firefox (version 16) you can block all cookies by clicking "Tools", "Options", "Privacy", selecting "Use custom settings for history" from the drop-down menu, and unticking "Accept cookies from sites";
In Chrome (version 23), you can block all cookies by accessing the "Customise and control" menu, and clicking "Settings", "Show advanced settings" and "Content settings", and then selecting "Block sites from setting any data" under the "Cookies" heading. For other internet browsers there will normally be similar ways of blocking cookies.
As mentioned above, blocking all cookies as described in the technical examples will however have a negative impact on the usability of many websites.
Deleting You can also delete cookies already stored on your computer.
Guides on how to remove cookies from the various IE (Internet Explorer) versions
Guides on how to remove cookies from Firefox
Guide on how to remove cookies from Google Chrome
Why do we inform you about cookies?
All European (EU) websites are obliged to inform its users (visitors) about the cookies placed on the user’s terminal equipment.
This obligation is stated in an EU Directive (Directive 2002/58/EC - Directive on privacy and electronic communications, amended by Directive 2009/136/EC) that was giving the individual EU-Governments until May 25, 2011 to implement the rules into their own law.
The rules are essentially designed to protect the privacy of internet users – even where the information being collected about them is not directly personally identifiable. The changes to the Directive in 2009 were prompted in part by concerns about online tracking of individuals and the use of spyware. These are not rules designed to restrict the use of particular technologies as such, they are intended to prevent information being stored on people’s computers, and used to recognise them via the device they are using, without their knowledge and agreement.