What cookies are for
When we provide services, we want to make them easy, useful and reliable.
Where services are delivered on the internet, this sometimes involves placing small amounts of information on your device, for example, computer or mobile phone.
These include small files known as cookies. They cannot be used to identify you personally.
These pieces of information are used to improve services for you by:
recognising that you may already have given a username and password so you don't need to do it for every web page requested
measuring how many people are using services, so they can be made easier to use and there's enough capacity to ensure they are fast
analysing anonymised data to help us understand how people interact with govt services so we can make them better
You can manage these small files yourself and learn more about them. Information and videos are available on Directgov: Internet browser cookies - what they are and how to manage them.
There are two types of cookie you may encounter when using Home Office websites:
First party cookies - these are our own cookies, controlled by us and used to provide information about usage of our site
Third party cookies - these are cookies found in other companies’ internet tools which we are using to enhance our site, for example Facebook or Twitter have their own cookies, which are controlled by them
First party cookies
We've listed each of them below with more details about why we use them and how long they will last. We will endeavour to let you know before we store a cookie on your computer.
Cookies set by Home Office websites
|DCT-Legacy||Randomly generated number||When user closes browser|
|DCT-Morello||Randomly generated number||When user closes browser|
|JSESSIONID||Randomly generated number||When user closes browser|
|ho_fontsize||A number representing the user’s choice of font size||When user closes browser|
|PHPSESSID||Randomly generated number||When user closes browser|
Third party cookies
When we use a supplier they may also set cookies.
We use Google Analytics to help us accurately estimate the number of visitors to our websites and volumes of usage. Google Analytics sets cookies - more information is available on the Google Code website.
|_utma||Randomly generated number||2 years|
|_utmb||Randomly generated number||30 minutes|
|_utmc||Randomly generated number||When user closes browser|
|_utmz||Randomly generated number + info on how the site was reached (e.g. directly or via a link, organic search or paid search)||6 months|
We also link off to Home Office content on other websites; links to their cookie policies are available below: