Cookies explained

If you use the internet quite a bit, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of cookies. But what are they?

Also known as HTML cookies, tracking cookies or magic cookies, these tiny files are automatically downloaded by your computer when you’re browsing online.

Don’t worry – they’re perfectly safe. But we’d still like to take a moment to explain what cookies do, which ones we use and how to remove them – if you really want to.

Let’s start at the beginning.

What are cookies?

Cookies are very small text files that are automatically downloaded to your computer when you browse websites like

Most websites use cookies in some form or another. While you’re busy browsing, they work quietly behind the scenes – saving important information that makes viewing web pages easier for you.

For example, one cookie remembers the order in which you’ve viewed web pages. That way, when you hit the ‘Back’ button in your browser, it’ll flick through them in the right order. Cookies also send useful information to us – such as which pages on you’ve visited, which you’ve spent the most time on and what time of day you visited. All of this helps us to improve for the next time you visit.

But with all this data going back and forth, you’re probably wondering if your data is secure – which leads us onto our next question.

Are cookies safe?

Yes, cookies are safe. The information they collect is completely anonymous. We never, ever, collect personal information. What’s more, cookies are not harmful to your computer, they take up minimal space and they can be removed with just a few clicks. But before we get into deleting cookies, let’s look closer at the ones used on

Which cookies does use?

Cookie name: __utma, __utmc, __utmz, __utmv

  • Type: 3rd Party
  • Source: GoogleAnalytics
  • Function: These cookies help us to recognise your computer when you visit Why is this useful? Well, for one, it means that you won’t need to spend time downloading the same pages over and over again. So browsing should be that little bit faster every time you visit. Also, it’s really useful for us to know that you’ve visited more than once.

Cookie name: PastMember, ASP.NET_SessionId, PHPSESSID

  • Type: 1st Party
  • Source: NFA
  • Function: These cookies also help us to recognise your computer if you’ve visited before.

How can I remove cookies?

We hope we’ve put your mind at ease about using cookies. Most computers are set to download cookies automatically, so if you’re happy with everything you’ve read, simply
carry on as you were.

However, if you’re at all concerned about having cookies on your computer, deleting them is simple. Show me how to remove cookies.

Likewise, you can also change your computer settings so that it won’t download any more cookies. Show me how to change my cookies settings.

Further reading

If you’d like to know more about cookies and how they’re used, the following resources are a good place to start:


About Cookies

And of course, if you have any further questions by all means drop us a line at [email protected].