What are cookies?

Cookies are small text files that are temporarily created on your computer, smart phone or other device when you visit a website. These cookies are retrieved when you visit that particular website again.

Cookies are used to improve the way you use a website by recognising your device so you don't have to give the same information several times during your visit.

They are also used by website owners for basic information, such as how often you visit their web pages.  This helps them learn what information interests you so they can supply more of the content you like and less of the content you don't.

They cannot be used to identify you personally.

What types of cookies exist?

There are two broad categories of cookies: 'first party cookies' and 'third party cookies'.

First party cookies are sent directly to IGEM IT services by your device (see further details below).

Third party cookies are sent by an external third party that either provides functionality to, or services through, the IGEM website, for example video clips. They enable that third party to recognise your computer when it visits our website and also when it visits some other websites. You will need to read the cookie usage of other websites when you visit their sites, as they may differ to that of IGEM.

Cookies can remain on your device for different periods of time. Some cookies are 'session cookies', meaning that they exist only while your website browser is open. These are deleted automatically once you close your browser. Other cookies are 'permanent cookies', meaning that they survive after your browser is closed. They can be used by websites to recognise your computer when you later re-open your browser and browse the internet again.

How can I manage cookies?

To find out how to allow, block, delete and manage the cookies on all standard web browsers, go to the website at and select the browser and version you are using.

You will also find information about how to delete cookies from your computer on the same website at

Please be aware that if you choose to refuse cookies, you may not be able to use the full functionality of the IGEM website.

Useful Links

UK Information Commissioners Office: As the independent arbiter of information rights, the Information Commissioner has been charged with regulating the new rules for websites aimed at UK consumers.