What are cookies?
Cookies are small text files that are placed on your device to help the site provide a better user experience. In general, cookies are used to retain user preferences, store information for things like shopping baskets, and provide anonymised (that means anonymous, so it doesn’t track your name or email address, for example, but it does track your IP address which uniquely identifies the network you are connected to) tracking data to third party applications like Google Analytics. Google analytics is a site which allows me to see how well my website is performing in terms of audience. It tells me things like how many people have visited my site, how many of those people are coming back, and where they are in the world. All of this information helps me to continue to create content that is relevant to the people reading it. A cookie in no way gives us access to your computer or any information about you, other than the information you choose to share with us.
Can I disable cookies?
As a rule, cookies will make your browsing experience better. However, you may prefer to disable cookies on this site and on others. The most effective way to do this is to disable cookies in your browser. This will disable what are called essential cookies. Disabling these may prevent my site from working. If you’d like to disable what are called non-essential cookies, for example the ones that track usage of my site, you can do so my clicking the button on the cookie consent bar on the screen.
To disable cookies in Chrome, click the 3 dots at the top right of your browser (just under the close screen ‘x’). This will open a menu where you should choose ‘settings’. The settings will open in a new window. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click ‘Advanced’. In the ‘privacy and security’ section, find the option for ‘content settings’. Here you can turn on or off several features. Cookies is usually the first option.
To disable cookies in Internet explorer, click the 3 dots at the top right of the screen (just under the close screen ‘x’). This will open a sidebar menu where you should choose ‘settings’. Click ‘view advanced settings’ and scroll down to the ‘privacy and services’ section. Within that section you can choose to block all cookies, block only third party cookies, or don’t block cookies.
For other browsers, you can also take a look at the About Cookies website which offers guidance for all modern browsers.
To opt-out of user tracking for all the websites you visit, not just this one, I recommend the Google Analytics Opt-Out Chrome browser extension. You can add this extension to your chrome browser by clicking here.