What is a cookie?
Cookies are small text files that are placed on your computer by websites that you visit. They are widely used in order to make websites work, or work more efficiently, as well as to provide information to the owners of the site.
Most web browsers allow some control of cookies through browser settings. To find out more about cookies, including how to see what cookies have been set and how to manage and delete them, visit www.allaboutcookies.org
Please be aware that if you disable cookies, many services on our websites will not be available to you, particularly those that contain personalised content as outlined in the section Personalised content.
Types of cookies
When you visit one of our websites, we will attach cookies to your browser. A cookie is a small file which is placed on your computer or device.
2. Analytical Performance Cookies. BIG uses these types of cookies to monitor our websites performance and how users may use it. These cookies provide us with information that helps us provide better products to our users and also to identify any areas that may need maintenance. These cookies collect information about how visitors use our website, for instance which pages visitors go to most often. The information collected by these cookies is aggregated, so these cookies don’t collect information that identifies a visitor. The information collected is anonymous and is only used to improve the way our website works.
3. Functional Cookies. Functional cookies are used to remember your preferences on our websites. This can be anything from saving your username to remembering changes to a font size.
Behavioural advertising is based upon your web browsing activity over a period of time – so it’s different to advertising you may see when you’re looking for something online using a search engine (e.g. Google) or on the website you may be visiting at a particular time. As an example, you may be doing research in order to buy a bicycle and read a number of different articles on a number of different websites. If a bicycle manufacturer was part of an advertising network, they may think that you are interested in buying a bicycle and serve you with one of their adverts for one of their bicycles. It is possible that from reading these articles elsewhere, you would see this advert on one of our or someone else’s websites. We cannot control nor do we have access to any cookies placed on your computer by third party advertisers and sponsors. We may also track IP addresses.
5. Flash Cookies. When you use one of our websites that uses Macromedia Flash Player, a small Flash Cookie may be used. The purpose of using these cookies is to store your flash player preferences and enhance your browsing experience.
Flash Cookies are stored on your computer in a similar way to standard cookies, except they are stored in a different location. Due to this, it is not possible to block or manage Flash Cookies directly from your browser.
In order to manage or delete Flash Cookies, please visit Adobe’s website, which provides full information, by clicking here.
There are some functions you can adjust. You are not obliged to accept cookies and may modify your browser so that it will not accept cookies. The browser you use to surf the web not only allows you to see the cookies that you have got but also allows you to control their use. You can control them by allowing them, deleting them individually or deleting all of them. You can also set your browser to not accept cookies altogether. If this option is selected, you should be aware that many websites will not function properly or at all. It may be possible to set your browser to not accept cookies and ask for your consent before each cookie is set on your device. This gives you control over what is set on your device, however it has the drawback of slowing down your browsing experience.
There are different levels of control too. You are able to prevent just third party cookies being deployed, effectively opting out of behavioural advertising, and some even allow you to block specific companies you do not wish to deploy a cookie, instead of selecting all companies.
In order to manage your cookies, please follow the instructions provided by your browser supplier for your PC or device.
Web Beacons and URL tracking
As part of our email communications and website analyses, we may use web beacons and track URLs.
Web beacons are electronic files that count users who access a website or page and can also allow us to see if a cookie has been activated. Web beacons on web pages or email communications allow us to see how successful an article may be or that an email message was successfully delivered and read.
Tracked URLs will count the amount of clicks on a web page. This allows us to edit the site according to the popularity of the articles you read.
You can’t decline web beacons. However by preventing cookies being used on your computer, you can prevent web beacons from tracking your activity. For information about managing your cookie options, please click here.
The content on our websites and in our email communications may be adjusted depending on what we know about the content, products and services that you like. This means we can highlight content and articles that we believe will be of interest to you. Advertising content may be adjusted depending on personal information. In some instances, this targeted advertising may be created by third parties and the information will be collected and held by these third parties outside the control of BIG.
We provide personalisation by using cookies, IP addresses, web beacons and URL tracking. A full explanation of how this works and how you can prevent the use of such activities, please see our Cookies, and IP Address section.