How we use cookies

What are cookies?

A cookie is a small file of letters and numbers that is downloaded on to your computer when you visit a website. Cookies are used by many websites and can do a number of things, such as remembering your preferences, recording what you have put in your shopping basket, and counting the number of people looking at a website.

First-party cookies

First-party cookies are set by the website you are visiting and they can only be read by that site.

Third-party cookies

Third-party cookies are set by a different organisation to the owner of the website you are visiting. For example the website might use a third-party analytics company who will set their own cookie to perform this service. The website you are visiting may also contain content embedded from, for example, YouTube, and these sites may set their own cookies.

More significantly, a website might use a third-party advertising network to deliver targeted advertising on their website. These may also have the capability to track your browsing across different sites. It is important to note that advertising cookies are not set for visitors to the Money Advice Service website.

Session cookies

Session cookies are stored only temporarily during a browsing session and are deleted from the user’s device when the browser is closed.

Persistent cookies

This type of cookie is saved on your computer for a fixed period (usually a year or longer) and is not deleted when the browser is closed. Persistent cookies are used where we need to know who you are for more than one browsing session. For example we use this type of cookie to store your preferences, so that they are remembered for the next visit.

How can I control my cookies?

Browser controls

You can use your web browser (e.g. Internet Explorer) to:

  • delete all cookies
  • block all cookies
  • allow all cookies
  • block third-party cookies
  • clear all cookies when you close the browser
  • open a ‘private browsing’ session, and
  • install add-ons and plug-ins to extend browser functionality.

Where to find information about controlling cookies

What type of cookies do we use?

First-party cookies

We use a number of cookies to support site functionality, and to analyse and compare who visits our sites and which sort of device they use. From this, we can design better services and visitor experiences. The following table shows the cookies we use, their use, when they expire and their category:

Cookie name Use Typical content Expiry
_public-website_session Session identifier BAh7CEkiD3Nlc3Npb25faWQGOgZFRkkiJWY4MGQwN2Y5ZjNi ZjBhZjNkMjYxZmExNjk0MDAzZmM0BjsAVEkiE3VzZXJfcmV0dXJuX 3RvBjsARiIgL2VuL2FydGljbGVzL21hbmFnaW5nLW1vbmV5SSIQX2 NzcmZfdG9rZW4GOwBGSSIxQ0s1Qmc4dGd1dzFDTVVxYUdXNklFUk5 QaURFVkdoSlJ2ellQczlqVnhJQT0GOwBG–21c1ddf4e19d067dcb 30de32de40ea456ea1d9b5 Session
_web_tracking Session identifier (cross session) sent to IPS for user tracking b9f1f00ec4c8a00d47d0b133c9cf63bf 1 year
_jid Session identifier 1335776339539805355 Session
cookietest Tells the health check whether you have cookies and Javascript enabled in your browser true Session
js_enabled Tells the health check whether you have cookies and Javascript enabled in your browser true Session
HasClickedExternalLink Tells the health check if you have clicked on an external link. This is so we can warn you if you are leaving our website   Session
qHistory_temp Temporarily remembers the answers to your questions while you are using the health check and allows us to give you your action plan. This cookie is automatically , so no-one else can see the answers you gave 17032 20120628
False#Q0A 17033 HAPPY  
20120628 17036# Session  
ActionPlanState Remember which parts of your action plan are currently expanded so if you register and come back to the health check later on it will be as you left it   30 days
cm_vid Helps us track the effectiveness of our campaign advertising. They allow us to understand what visitors want to use and not to use, so we can improve the service you receive   Session
cm_medium Helps us track the effectiveness of our campaign advertising. They allow us to understand what visitors want to use and not to use, so we can improve the service you receive   Session
cm_sid Helps us track the effectiveness of our campaign advertising. They allow us to understand what visitors want to use and not to use, so we can improve the service you receive   Session
cd_campid Help us track the effectiveness of our campaign advertising. They allow us to understand what visitors want to use and not to use, so we can improve the service you receive   Session
cm_mid Help us track the effectiveness of our campaign advertising. They allow us to understand what visitors want to use and not to use, so we can improve the service you receive   Session
_cookie_notice Stores that you have been presented with the cookie notice y 1 day
_cookie_dismiss_newsletter (Inactive) Indicates whether the sticky newsletter footer should be displayed or not. (Inactive) hide 1 month (Inactive)
_cookie_submit_newsletter (Inactive) Indicates whether the sticky newsletter footer should be displayed or not.(Inactive) hide Permanent (30 years) (Inactive)

Third-party cookies

We use a number of cookies to support site functionality, and to analyse and compare who visits our sites and which sort of device they use. From this, we can design better services and visitor experiences. The following table shows the cookies we use, their use, when they expire and their category:

# Cookie name Use Typical content Expiry
1 JSESSIONID .nr-data.net Used to track anonymous user sessions. Never
2 AMP_TOKEN Google Analytics Contains a token that can be used to retrieve a Client ID from AMP Client ID service. Other possible values indicate opt-out, in-flight request or an error retrieving a Client ID from AMP Client ID service. 30 seconds to 1 year
3 _ga Google Analytics This helps us count how many people visit the site by tracking if you’ve visited before. 2 years
4 _gid Google Analytics This helps us count how many people visit the site by tracking if you’ve visited before. 24 hours
5 _gat Google Analytics Used to manage the rate at which page view requests are made. 2018-11-19T13:00:53.000Z
6 __utmb Google Analytics Used to determine new sessions/visits. The cookie is created when the javascript library executes and no existing utmb cookies exists. The cookie is updated every time data is sent to Google Analytics. 30 mins from set/update
7 __utma Google Analytics Used to distinguish users and sessions. The cookie is created when the javascript library executes and no existing utma cookies exists. The cookie is updated every time data is sent to Google Analytics. 2 years from set/update
8 __utmv Google Analytics Used to store visitor-level custom variable data. This cookie is created when a developer uses the _setCustomVar method with a visitor level custom variable. This cookie was also used for the deprecated _setVar method. The cookie is updated every time data is sent to Google Analytics. 2 years from set/update
9 __utmt Google Analytics Used to throttle request rate. 10 minutes
10 engaged Google Analytics   Never
11 ajs_anonymous_id Hotjar Counts how many people visit the site by tracking if you have visited before. 1 year
12 _hjDonePolls Hotjar This cookie is set once a visitor completes a poll using the Feedback Poll widget. It is used to ensure that the same poll does not re-appear if it has already been filled in. 365 days
13 _hjClosedSurveyInvites Hotjar This cookie is set once a visitor interacts with a Survey invitation modal popup. It is used to ensure that the same invite does not re-appear if it has already been shown. 365 days
14 _hjMinimizedPolls Hotjar This cookie is set once a visitor minimizes a Feedback Poll widget. It is used to ensure that the widget stays minimizes when the visitor navigates through your site. 365 days
15 _hjMinimizedTestersWidgets Hotjar This cookie is set once a visitor minimizes a Recruit User Testers widget. It is used to ensure that the widget stays minimizes when the visitor navigates through your site. 365 days
16 _hjDoneTestersWidgets Hotjar This cookie is set once a visitor submits their information in the Recruit User Testers widget. It is used to ensure that the same form does not re-appear if it has already been filled in. 365 days
17 _hjIncludedInSample Hotjar This session cookie is set to let Hotjar know whether that visitor is included in the sample which is used to generate funnels. 365 days
18 _hjShownFeedbackMessage Hotjar This cookie is set when a visitor minimizes or completes Incoming Feedback. This is done so that the Incoming Feedback will load as minimized immediately if they navigate to another page where it is set to show. 365 days
19 iz_uh_ps Informizely History data is stored in the persistent cookie. 2019-11-19T12:54:26.000Z
20 iz_sd_ss Informizely Session data is stored in the session cookie. Never
21 iz_uh_ps and_iz_sd_ss_ Informizely The Informizely’s survey widget stores anonymous data about a visitor that is needed for making decisions about when to show a survey, like the number of site visits and survey views. History data is stored in the persistent cookie “iz_uh_ps” and session data is stored in the session cookie “iz_sd_ss”.  
22 ajs_anonymous_id New Relic Counts how many people visit the site by tracking if you have visited before. 1 year
23 jessionid New Relic Used to store a session identifier so that New Relic can monitor session counts for an application. Never
24 OptanonAlertBoxClosed Optimizely It enables the website not to show a specific message more than once to a user. 1 year
25 OptanonConsent Optimizely Enables prevention of cookies in each category from being set in the users browser, when consent is not given. 1 year
26 optimizelyBuckets Optimizely Used to store the page variants assigned to a user for A/B performance testing, to ensure the user gets a consistent experience. 6 months
27 optimizelySegments Optimizely Holds audience segmentation information for a visitor. 6 months
28 optimizelyEndUserId Optimizely This cookie is a unique user identifier. 6 months
29 optimizelyPendingLogEvents Optimizely Used as a cache of a user’s actions between tracking calls. When the tracking call is made the cookie will be wiped. 7 months
30 whoson Whoson Enables websites to engage with visitors via text based chat whilst they are on the site. 31/12/2020
31 CONSENT YouTube These cookies allow YouTube to collect usage information for YouTube hosted videos. 20 years
32 GPS YouTube These cookies allow YouTube to collect usage information for YouTube hosted videos. 1 day
33 PREF YouTube These cookies allow YouTube to collect usage information for YouTube hosted videos. 2 years
34 VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE YouTube Allow YouTube to collect usage information for YouTube hosted videos used to collect anonymous statistics and performance data for embedded YouTube videos on our website. 6 months
35 YSC YouTube These cookies allow YouTube to collect usage information for YouTube hosted videos. Never

We use a number of suppliers who may also set cookies on their websites on its behalf. The Money Advice Service does not control the dissemination of these cookies. You should check the third-party websites for more information about these.

Other useful information

A number of websites provide detailed information on cookies, including: