What are cookies?
There are two types of cookies: session cookies and persistent cookies. The above describes persistent cookies which remain on your computer after you have left the website for a period of time determined by the site owners. Session cookies are temporary and exist for only as long as you are visiting the site. As soon as you close your browser the session cookies are deleted. To learn more about cookies read the Wikipedia entry.
Why are we telling you this?
EU law requires all websites hosted in the UK or intended for a UK audience to be open and transparent with visitors to make it clear how cookies are used on the site.
- Analytics - anonymous information is collected about how you use OWL so we can tell how many visitors we've had, how many have visited before, etc. No personal information is collected.
- Session persistence - to track which of our servers you're using and if you log into OWL these cookies will help keep you logged in.
- Convenience - makes logging in for repeat visitors a slightly more convenient experience.
- Preferences - only if you log into OWL some simple preferences will be stored but they do not include personal information.
What if you don't want cookies stored on your computer?
There are a few options available to you in order of practicality:
- Disable persistent cookies in your browser.
- Delete the cookies yourself now or when you have finished using the website.
- Don't visit websites that require cookies and/or don't log in.
If you feel the need to disable persistent cookies then read the section on the right of this page.
How to disable cookies
Please note it is not recommended to completely disable cookies and we cannot provide you with any support if you choose to do so. The information we provide here is done on a voluntary basis so you can make an informed choice.
If you completely disable cookies then many websites won't function as you expect them to. For example, shopping baskets might forget what you put in them or you might get thrown out of a site after logging in. If you really want to disable cookies then consider disabling persistent cookies only and allow session (temporary) cookies to remain enabled. This will increase the likelihood of websites working correctly while still preventing cookies being stored on your hard drive after you've closed your browser.
Each make of web browser has a different way of disabling persistent cookies. It's not possible to maintain a detailed and up to date guide on how to do this as there are so many browsers with so many versions, but we've outlined below how to do this in a few popular browsers. Please note the method does vary between versions of the same browser and any changes you make to your browser's settings is done at your own risk.
Internet Explorer: Go to the tools Tools menu and select Internet Options. Go to the Privacy tab. Click on Advanced and again on "Override automatic cookie handling". Click on Block. Click on "Always allow session cookies" if you want to increase the chance of websites working properly. Click on OK and OK again.
Firefox: Go to the Tools menu and select Options. Click on the Privacy tab and change the History option from "Remember history" to "Use custom settings for history". To temporarily keep cookies for the duration of your session and to have them automatically deleted when you finish, change the option for "Keep until" from "they expire" to "I close Firefox". This will allow most websites to function properly. If you want to completely disable cookies uncheck "Accept cookies from sites", but expect some sites not to behave as expected.