What is a Cookie?
A cookie, also known as a browser cookie, is a text file containing small amounts of information which a server may download to your computer or mobile device when you visit a website or use an app.
There are different types of cookies which are used to do different things, such as letting you navigate between different pages on a website efficiently, remembering preferences you have given and helping companies to identify ways to improve your overall site experience. Others are used to provide you with advertising which is more tailored to your interests or to measure the number of site visits and the most popular pages users visit.
‘First Party’ and ‘Third Party’ Cookies
Each type of cookie can be set and controlled by the operator of the website which the user is browsing such as bookaleaner.co.uk (BAC) (known as a ‘first party cookie’) or a third party such as Facebook, for example to display advertisements and social sharing features, (known as a ‘third party cookie’).
Due to their core role of enhancing and enabling usability or site processes, disabling certain cookies may prevent you from using certain aspects of the BACS website, such as generating a quote or placing an order.
Broadly speaking, there are two different types of browser cookie:
- Session cookies are stored in the computer’s memory during a user’s browsing session and are automatically deleted from the user’s computer when the browser is closed or the session is deemed to have ended.
These cookies usually store a session ID that is not personally identifiable to users, allowing the user to move from page to page without having to log-in repeatedly. They are widely used by commercial websites; for example to keep track of items that a consumer has added to a shopping basket.
Session cookies do not collect any information from the user’s computer and they expire at the end of the user’s browser session. They can also become inaccessible after the session has been inactive for a specified length of time, usually 20 or 30 minutes.
- Persistent cookies are stored on the user’s computer and are not deleted when the browser is closed. Persistent cookies can be used to retain user preferences for a particular website, allowing those preferences to be used in future browsing sessions.
Persistent cookies usually assign a unique ID to the user’s browser and they are usually configured to identify a user for a prolonged period of time, from days to months or even years.
BAC only uses browser cookies to measure non-personal information, for example to learn about the behaviour of visitors to our website and how they respond to our marketing communications. The more we learn, the better we are able to provide relevant and interesting content and services. The first party cookies set by BAC do not contain any personally identifiable information.
What cookies do we use?
This website uses the following cookies:
Strictly necessary cookies
‘Strictly necessary’ cookies let you move around the website and use essential features such as accessing secure areas of the website and identifying you as being logged in. These cookies don’t gather any information about you that could be used for marketing or remembering where you’ve been on the Internet. Accepting these cookies is a condition of using the website, however, as they are required for the proper operation of the website. If you prevent them, we cannot guarantee how it will perform.
Analytics cookies/Performance cookies
We use these cookies to collect information about how visitors use our website, including details of the site where the visitor has come from and the total number of times a visitor has been to our website. By using our website, you agree that we can place these types of cookies on your device. We use the information to improve our website and enhance the experience of our visitors. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous.
Application or site specific cookies/Functionality cookies
These cookies remember choices you make to improve your experience. By using the website, you agree that we can place these types of cookies on your device.
These cookies allow the website to remember choices you make (such as your user name, language or the region you are in) and provide enhanced, more personal features. These cookies can also be used to remember changes you have made to text size, fonts and other parts of web pages that you can customise. They may also be used to provide services you have asked for such as watching a video or commenting on a blog. The information these cookies collect may be anonymised and they cannot track your browsing activity on other websites.
From time to time, cookies are used to collect information about your browsing habits in order to deliver adverts more relevant to you and your interests. They are also used to limit the number of times you see an advertisement as well as help measure the effectiveness of the advertising campaign.
The cookies are usually placed directly by third party advertising networks. They remember that you have visited a website and this information is shared with other organisations such as advertisers. Quite often targeting or advertising cookies will be linked to site functionality provided by the other organisation.
Your use of the website constitutes your consent to this website setting cookies on your device.
A guide to behavioural advertising and online privacy has been produced by the Internet advertising industry which can be found at Your Online Choices. The guide contains an explanation of the Internet Advertising Bureau’s self-regulatory scheme to allow you greater control of the advertising you see.
To find out more about cookies, search in Google or visit AboutCookies.org or AllAboutCookies.org (which is run by the Internet Advertising Bureau Europe).