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Online privacy and cookies

What is a cookie?

A cookie, also known as a browser cookie, is a text file containing small amounts of information which a server may download to your computer, mobile or tablet when you visit a website or use an app.

There are different types of cookies which are used to do different things, such as letting you navigate between different pages on a website efficiently, remembering preferences you have given and helping us to identify ways to improve your overall site experience. Others are used to provide you with advertising which is more tailored to your interests or to measure the number of site visits and the most popular pages users visit.

‘First party’ and ‘third party’ cookies

Each type of cookie can be set and controlled by the operator of the website which the user is browsing such as Bupa (known as a ‘first party cookie’) or a third party such as Facebook, for example to display advertisements and social sharing features, (known as a ‘third party cookie’).

Due to their core role of enhancing and enabling usability or site processes, disabling certain cookies may prevent you from using certain aspects of the Bupa website, such as generating a quote or placing an order.

Broadly speaking, there are two different types of browser cookie:

(1) Session cookies are stored in the computer's memory during a user's browsing session and are automatically deleted from the user's computer when the browser is closed or the session is deemed to have ended.

These cookies usually store a session ID that is not personally identifiable to users, allowing the user to move from page to page without having to log-in repeatedly. They are widely used by commercial web sites; for example to keep track of items that a consumer has added to a shopping basket.

Session cookies do not collect any information from the user's computer and they expire at the end of the user's browser session. They can also become inaccessible after the session has been inactive for a specified length of time, usually 20 or 30 minutes.

(2) Persistent cookies are stored on the user's computer and are not deleted when the browser is closed. Persistent cookies can be used to retain user preferences for a particular website, allowing those preferences to be used in future browsing sessions.

Persistent cookies usually assign a unique ID to the user’s browser and they are usually configured to identify a user for a prolonged period of time, from days to months or even years.

How does Bupa use cookies?

Bupa only uses browser cookies to measure non-personal information, for example to learn about the behaviour of visitors to our website and how they respond to our marketing communications. The more we learn, the better we are able to provide relevant and interesting content and services.

How can you control the use of cookies?

Your use of the website constitutes your consent to this website setting cookies on your device.

If you do not want the website to set cookies on your device then you should not use the site and you should delete any Bupa cookies which have been placed on your device having visited the site. Alternatively, the ‘Help’ menu on the menu bar of most browsers will tell you how to prevent your browser from accepting new cookies, how to have the browser notify you when you receive a new cookie and how to disable cookies altogether. However, because cookies allow you to take advantage of some of the website's essential features, we recommend you leave them turned on.

A guide to behavioural advertising and online privacy has been produced by the internet advertising industry which can be found at youronlinechoices.eu. The guide contains an explanation of the Internet Advertising Bureau's self-regulatory scheme to allow you greater control of the advertising you see.

Learn more about cookies

To find out more about cookies, search in Google or visit aboutcookies.org or allaboutcookies.org (which is run by the IBA Europe).