We sometimes place small data files on your computer. These are known as cookies. Most websites do this.
They improve things by:
- remembering settings, so you don’t have to keep re-entering them whenever you visit a new page
- remembering information you’ve given (eg your postcode) so you don’t need to keep entering it
- measuring how you use the website so we can make sure it meets your needs
Our cookies aren’t used to identify you personally. They’re just here to make the site work better for you. Indeed, you can manage and/or delete these small files as you wish.
These cookies can be turned on or off using the Cookies panel. To access the panel, navigate to the bottom of the page and select the Cookies icon.
Measuring website usage (Google Analytics)
We use Google Analytics to collect information about how people use this site. We do this to make sure it’s meeting its users’ needs and to understand how we could do it better.
Google Analytics stores information about what pages you visit, how long you are on the site, how you got here and what you click on. We do not collect or store your personal information (e.g. your name or address) so this information cannot be used to identify who you are. We do not allow Google to use or share our analytics data.
The following cookies are set by Google Analytics.
|_ga||This randomly generated number is used to determine unique visitors to our site||2 years|
|_gid||This randomly generated number is used to determine unique visitors to our site||24 hours|
|_gat||This randomly generated number is used to reduce the number of requests made||1 minute|
You can opt out of Google Analytics cookies by visiting this page on Google.
These essential cookies do things like remember your progress through a form. They always need to be on.
Remembering if you’ve seen our introductory message
On your first visit to a GOV.UK blog, you may be greeted by a pop-up message that welcomes you and provides information about the site. We’ll store a cookie so that your computer knows you’ve seen it and knows not to show it again (and again...).
|gds_seen_cookie_message||Saves a message to let us know that you have seen our cookie message||90 days|
Saving the details you put in comment forms
When you first leave a comment on a GOV.UK blog, you'll be asked to enter your name, email address and a website URL. So you don’t have to enter these again for subsequent comments, we save them in a cookie and fill the form in for you.
|comment_author_[hash]||Saves the name you enter into the comment form||1 year|
|comment_author_email_[hash]||Saves the email address you enter into the comment form||1 year|
|comment_author_url_[hash]||Saves the website URL you enter into the comment form||1 year|
Cookies from YouTube
On some parts of this site, we use YouTube to display videos. YouTube sets some or all of these cookies when you visit one of these pages.
|use_hitbox||This is a randomly generated number that identifies your browser||When you close your browser|
|VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE||Set when viewing a page with Youtube videos on it. It is set by Youtube so they can count the views of embedded Youtube videos on them||9 months|