Privacy and cookies


Cookies are small text files that are placed on your computer or mobile device by websites that you visit. They are safe as they cannot be used to spread viruses. They cannot be used to identify you personally as no personal information, such as telephone numbers or email addresses, is contained in the cookies. 

Some cookies are necessary to help websites function (operational cookies), for example, to log in to our website. Other cookies provide visitor statistics to help us improve our website, so it is easy to reach relevant content.

To find out more about cookies, including how to control and delete them, please visit

How do I change cookie settings?

You can change your cookie preferences at any time by clicking on the ‘C’ icon (located to the bottom left). You can then adjust your preferences or click the 'X' (located to the top right) to exit. If you do not select an option only necessary cookies will be set.

Alternatively, most web browsers allow some control of most cookies through their browser settings. To find out more about cookies, including how to see what cookies have been set, visit or

How to manage cookies on popular browsers

To find information relating to other browsers, please visit the browser developer's website.

To opt out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites, visit the Google Analytics Opt-out Add-on.

How we use cookies

Necessary or operational cookies

If you register on our site (using Scotland's myaccount service) to make filling in forms easier, a cookie is stored to keep you signed-in while you are filling out a form. These do not contain personal data and are destroyed when you close your web browser.

Website usage and analytics

We use Google Analytics to collect statistical data on how our visitors use our website, in a way that does not directly identify anyone. This tool stores temporary cookies on your machine to collect standard visitor behaviour information in an anonymous form. We use this to compile reports, such as how many people visit our site. We also use the information to improve the website, for example, looking at what content is popular. 

The cookies we use are:

  • _ga - expires after two years.
  • _gid - expires after 24 hours.
  • _gat - expires after 1 minute.

Information on how to opt out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites and Google's use of cookies can be found on Google Analytics Opt-out. See also How Google uses cookies and Google privacy pages.

Third-party cookies

When visiting our website, you may also notice some cookies that are related to content from other websites. When you visit a page with content embedded from another site (for example, YouTube, Twitter or Facebook) you may be presented with cookies from these other websites. We do not control these cookies, please check third-party websites' privacy policies.