Cookie Guidance

What are cookies?

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

Cookies are usually used to improve the way you use a website, for example by enabling a service to recognise your device so you don't have to give the same information several times during one task, or 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 during that visit.

They are also used by website owners for basic information about your visit, such as how often you visit their web pages, which helps them learn what information interests you. In this way, they can give you 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 to 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.

Where are cookies used by the IGEM website

MyIGEM Extranet Area (Password Protected) This cookie is used for a password protected area on the site, which is used by IGEM members. The cookie remembers the username and password for the session so that it is not required to be input for each protected page visited during the session visit.


Items purchased from the IGEM Shop will enable a tracking cookie for purchases made and enable shop users to purchase items more simply by auto-filling of boxes and allow data collection of purchases.

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.