At Provident we realise that many people aren’t familiar with cookies and other similar technologies, so we feel it’s important to shed some light on what they are and how we use them. That way you can make informed decisions about your cookie preferences. Below you’ll find a guide to cookies in general, as well as more detail about the cookies used on the website.
A cookie is a small piece of computer code that a website transfers to your computer’s hard drive so that it can remember you.
The information in a cookie usually includes the name of the website, their ‘duration’ or ‘lifetime’ (i.e. how long they will remain on your hard drive) and a unique identifier, which is usually a randomly generated number.
Cookies are used by most website operators to recognise visitors when they return, store any visitor preferences and to help find out how to improve the site, all of which is intended to improve your experience.
It’s important to note that cookies can’t be used to identify you personally unless you offer up personal information, i.e. when you complete an application form, as cookies only know what you’ve told them. They are also unable to access any personal information stored on your computer’s hard drive.
Yes; different types of cookie include:
Session cookies – temporary cookies that are only stored on your computer for as long as you’re on a particular website. If you close your browser (e.g. Internet Explorer, Google Chrome) and end your ‘session’, the cookie will automatically be deleted.
Session cookies tend to be used to remember things whilst you’re browsing a website. For example, if you’re shopping online, a session cookie will be used to remember that you’ve added something to your ‘shopping basket’ and it will allow the website to keep it there for you.
Persistent cookies – more long-term cookies that remain on your computer after you’ve closed your browser. How long they stay on your computer changes from cookie to cookie, but it’s usually 30 days.
Like session cookies, persistent cookies are also used to remember things from when you’ve been browsing, but because they’re still on your computer after you’ve left a website, they can be used to make sure that when you return what you’re seeing is relevant to you e.g. clothes like those you may have looked at previously or grocery items you may have bought before.
Third-party cookies – cookies that are set by, or whose information is sent back to, a website that is different to the one you’re viewing.
Many people may be worried that website operators using cookies will be able to personally identify them and/or access their private information stored on their computer’s hard drive.
This is not the case; cookies, and certainly those set by Provident, cannot access any information that is stored on your computer’s hard drive. In addition, the only way a cookie could be used to personally identify you is if you choose to offer up personal information i.e. when you complete an application form.
It’s important to note that you should only ever provide your personal information on secure websites that you know you can trust. A quick and easy way to check whether a website is secure is to look out for the padlock symbol. You can be assured that the Provident website is secure.
Yes. Provident sets session, persistent and third-party cookies for the following purposes:
To allow information you’ve provided on our site to be carried through to other pages so that you don’t have to enter the same information repeatedly e.g. when you complete our application form. It is important to note that these cookies will be automatically deleted when you leave our website.
To help us recognise whether you’ve been to our site before, so that when you return we can tailor content and advertisements to your preferences.
To make sure you’re not asked to complete research surveys, too frequently or after you’ve already done so, or chosen not to.
To collate anonymous statistics that allow us to understand how visitors use our site. We use this information to help us improve the structure of our website to ultimately improve your experience on it.
Used for marketing purposes e.g. to show advertisements for our website on other websites and search engines and to track when people click on them.
Yes; you can delete cookies from your computer by clearing the history from your browser. The way to do this varies depending on which browser you use, but you can find simple step-by-step instructions for many different browser types on the About Cookies website.
You can also amend your settings to control whether or not your browser accepts cookies, but it’s worth bearing in mind that many websites rely on cookies to allow them to function properly and choosing to reject cookies may mean you’re not able to use all the features you’re used to. You can again find information on how to do this on the About Cookies website.
Each time you visit our site you can choose to opt-out of having persistent and third-party cookies placed on your computer’s hard drive.
Session cookies will automatically be deleted when you leave our site, but you can choose to opt out of persistent cookies set by Provident and/or third-party cookies.
All modern browsers allow you to change your cookie settings. You can usually find these settings in the ‘options’ or ‘preferences’ menu of your browser. To understand these settings the following links may be helpful, or you can use the ‘Help’ option in your browser for more details.