Cookies, in web speak, are small pieces of code, transmitted to and from a website and the device being used to access it. They are what allow the website to actually work in many cases, helping things like shopping baskets of products to be stored for future visits, or to actually ensure the session is a valid one, like a 'handshake' between one computer and another.
Some cookies do more, like allowing for the counting of visitors (e.g. Google Analytics), seeing which pages visitors go to and where they've come from, whether they're a new or returning visitor, but this data is always anonymous and aggregate, meaning whilst it may record visits, it is never able to identify an individual.
The cookies on this website are:
Non-invasive 3rd Party Cookies
_ga - Google Analytics - expiry 2 years, used to distinguish new and returning users (anonymously), rough location, device used, operating system, etc., sending information back to Google for analysis by us
_gat - Google Analytics - Session cookie, used to throttle request rate
_atuvc & _atuvs - Addthis cookies - Addthis is a social sharing 'widget' that allows users of the website to share a page by clicking a button. The cookie does not send information back to Addthis
Non-invasive 1st Party Cookies
_RequestVerificationToken_ - Anti-forgery session cookie
.AspNet.ApplicationCookie - Session cookie that accompanies all connections
ASP.NET_SessionId - Session cookie to validate the session
basket_id - 1 month to store basket contents in case of return
You can disable some of these cookies, but they are not invasive and disabling them could cause certain elements within the website to cease functioning correctly.
For ASP- (Microsoft) related cookies, please see the Microsoft page about it.
For Google Analytics-related cookies, please see the Google Analytics page about it.
For Addthis-related cookies, please see the Addthis page about it.