Cookie policy



think.direct.gov.uk puts small files (known as ‘cookies’) onto your computer to collect information about how you browse the site. Cookies are used to:
  • measure how you use the website so it can be updated and improved based on your needs
  • remember the notifications you’ve seen so that we don’t show them to you again
Find out more about how to manage cookies.

How cookies are used on the THINK! website

Our introductory message

You may see a pop-up welcome message when you first visit think.direct.gov.uk. We’ll store a cookie so that your computer knows you’ve seen it and knows not to show it again.
Name Purpose Expires
seen_cookie_message Saves a message to let us know that you’ve seen our cookie message 1 month

Measuring website usage (Google Analytics)

We use Google Analytics software to collect information about how you use think.direct.gov.uk. We do this to help make sure the site is meeting the needs of its users and to help us make improvements, for example improving site search. Google Analytics stores information about:
  • the pages you visit on think.direct.gov.uk
  • how long you spend on each think.direct.gov.uk page
  • how you got to the site
  • what you click on while you’re visiting the site
We don’t collect or store your personal information (for example your name or address) so this information can’t be used to identify who you are. We don’t allow Google to use or share our analytics data. Google Analytics sets the following cookies:
Name Purpose Expires
_utma Like _ga, this lets us know if you’ve visited before, so we can count how many of our visitors are new to sharp.dft.gov.uk or to a certain page 2 years
_utmb This works with _utmc to calculate the average length of time you spend on sharp.dft.gov.uk 30 minutes
_utmc This works with _utmb to calculate when you close your browser When you close your browser
_utmt This is used to throttle the speed of the website When you close your browser
_utmz This tells us how you reached sharp.dft.gov.uk (for example from another website or a search engine) 6 months
  You can opt out of Google Analytics cookies

Youtube videos

We also use YouTube to provide videos on some pages of the site. YouTube sets cookies when you visit one of these pages.
Name Purpose Expires
_use_hitbox This is a randomly generated number that identifies your browser When you close your browser
VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE Lets Youtube count the views of embedded Youtube videos 9 months