Updated: June 2015
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 Beehive Healthcare Ltd (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 Beehive Healthcare website. More generally there are two different types of browser cookie:
(1) 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.
(2) 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.
Beehive Healthcare Ltd 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. These first party cookies are anonymised.
Most browsers allow you to reject all cookies, whilst some browsers allow you to reject just third party cookies. For example, in Internet Explorer (version 9) you can refuse all cookies by clicking “Tools”, “Internet options”, “Privacy”, and selecting “Block All Cookies” using the sliding selector. Blocking all cookies will, however, have a negative impact upon the usability of many websites, including this one.