What is a cookie?
A cookie is simply a small text file that is sent from a website to your computer (or mobile device) when you visit certain web pages.
A cookie is not a program, and doesn't actually do anything itself. In its most basic form a cookie just stores the name of the website you visited, and a unique user ID. It cannot be used to identify you personally.
How do cookies work?
The very first time you visit a website, a cookie is downloaded to your computer. The next time you visit, your computer checks to see if it has a cookie for that site, and if it does, it sends the information back to the website.
The website then 'knows' that you have visited before, and in some cases can tailor its content to take account of that fact.
For example, you might visit a site and decide you want to view it with a larger text size. The next time you visit, if this information has been stored in a cookie, the website will 'know' your preferences and automatically set the text to a larger size.
To store your text size and accessibility preferences (so our web servers can meet the demand)
To analyse how visitors search for and find information, to improve navigation and usability
Like many websites, we use Google Analytics to track how many visitors use our site, what search terms they use, what pages they visit and how they find them. This service sets four cookies on your computer (named _utma, _utmb, _utmc and _utmz). To opt out of Google Analytics, you can use the analytics opt out browser add-on.
To opt out of using cookies
We recommend that you allow the cookies we set on this site, as they help us provide a better service and make our website easier to use.
But if you don't want cookies to be stored on your computer, you can easily set your web browser to block them. Just go to the privacy settings in your browser options, and enter our domain (wyre.gov.uk) in the list of websites you do not want to accept cookies from.
For a simple guide to managing and opting out of cookies on all sites you visit, whatever browser you use, please see how to manage cookies.