What are cookies?

Cookies are small text files that are placed on your computer, tablet or mobile phone when you browse websites. They allow website owners to provide visitors with a better browsing experience by making websites work as intended. Cookies can improve the speed and security of a site and can monitor which pages people find useful and which they don’t. A cookie in no way gives access to your computer but it can capture certain information about you beyond the data you share through forms and transactions. For more on The Lionel Abel-Smith Trust’s use of data, please refer to our privacy notice.

According to the GDPR and the UK Data Protection Act, websites that use more than just ‘essential’ or ‘strictly necessary’ cookies must obtain visitor consent before placing cookies on the their device. You’ll be familiar with the cookie consent banners that appear on most websites. In addition, you can usually modify browser settings‌  to decline cookies automatically, but this may prevent you from taking full advantage of a website’s features.

Let’s take a look at the different types of cookie...

Strictly necessary cookies

Cookies that fall into this category are crucial to the functioning of a website and, as a result, do not require visitor consent because they don’t capture any PII (Personally Identifiable Information). We only use strictly necessary cookies — described below — which means we don’t have to display a cookie consent banner on this site.

Cookie Duration Description
Session Kirby is our content management system (CMS) of choice and this session cookie tracks your movement from page to page. It captures no personal information and is removed from your computer when you close your browser session.

Performance cookies

Sometimes referred to as ‘analytics’ or ‘statistics’ cookies, performance cookies capture information about how visitors browse a website — which pages are popular, the journeys they take, how long they stay, etc. That info helps website owners to continue offering the best user experience on their sites.

Google Analytics is undoubtedly the best known and most popular service for capturing visitor information but we don’t use it. It isn’t GDPR-compliant by default and has been the subject of a lot of recent controversy, resulting in lawsuits and even fines. Nor do we use any other performance cookies. Instead, we use a cookie-free analytics solution, which gives us sight of key website metrics but without capturing visitor data. All the info, none of the risks!

Functional cookies

Mostly used to enhance a website’s performance, functional cookies are not vital for a website to run. They might be used to remember preferences, for example the user’s location, to offer personalised news stories and weather reports. They capture personal information and the visitor must therefore give consent. We do not use functional cookies.

Targeting cookies

Targeting cookies are designed to market to customers with targeted ads. Captured data can also be shared with third parties so that the performance of ads can be monitored and measured. Targeting cookies also help to create user profiles, building a picture of a user’s likes, dislikes, habits, purchases, etc. By capturing visitor data, websites can then display ads to customers based on their personal preferences. We do not use targeting cookies.

Updated: 10 June 2024