PRIVACY AND COOKIES
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.
What is a cookie and why are they used?
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.
Are there different types of cookie?
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.
Should I be worried about cookies?
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.
Does the Provident website set cookies?
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.
Can I delete cookies from my own computer?
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.
Can I choose to opt-out of Provident’s cookies?
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.
Looking after your information
The Data Protection Act requires Provident to manage personal information in accordance with the Act. We must process your information fairly and lawfully. This also means you are entitled to know how we intend to use your information. You can then decide whether or not you want to give it to us so that we can provide the product you require. All our employees are responsible for maintaining customer confidentiality. We provide training to all our colleagues to remind them about their obligations. In addition our polices and procedures are regularly audited and reviewed.
Who we are
Your information will be held by Provident loans which is a trading name of Provident Personal Credit Limited. Provident Personal Credit is part of the Provident Financial Group, which includes other companies such as Vanquis Bank Ltd and Moneybarn Ltd. More information on the Provident Financial Group can be found at www.providentfinancial.com.
Where we obtain your information
Your personal information will be held securely on Provident systems so that we can manage your relationship with us. This will include information information provided by you or others in various ways, including but not limited to;
1. In emails, letters, phone calls and conversations, when registering for services, in customer surveys, when you participate in competitions, through our websites and during interviews.
2. From the use of data obtained from social media sites by matching email address with social media accounts.
Why we share your information within Provident and with our third party suppliers
The Provident Group companies as outlined above may share your information for the following administrative activities;
a)Managing your relationship with us and notifying you of any changes to those products
b)Responding to your queries and complaints.
How we share your information externally
We will treat your information as private and confidential, but may share it with each other and disclose it outside the Group if:
1. Allowed by this agreement
2. You consent
3. Needed by third parties to help us manage your records, including undertaking behavioural profiling and analysis.
4. HMRC or other authorities require it
5. The law, regulatory bodies or the public interest permits or requires it
6. Required by us to investigate or prevent crime
7. Needed by market research companies to assist us in providing better products and services for you
8. To any other parties connected with your account.
How we manage sensitive personal information
The Data Protection Act defines certain information as sensitive (racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious beliefs, trade union membership, physical or mental health, sexual life, criminal proceedings and offences). As part of your ongoing relationship with us we may be provided with such information. Wherever possible we will always ask your explicit consent to process this information. We may share it with other parts of the Group and our subcontractors to keep your records up to date.
Using companies to process your information outside the EEA
We may sometimes use third parties based outside the European Economic Area. If we do we will always ensure they will protect your information to EU standards. Sometimes these organisations may disclose information to foreign authorities in the fight against crime and terrorism.
Recording phone calls
We may monitor or record phone calls with you in case we need to check we have carried out your instructions properly, to resolve queries or issues, for regulatory purposes, to help improve our quality or service and to help prevent or detect fraud or other crimes. Conversations may also be recorded for staff training purposes.
Using information on social networking sites
As part of our ongoing commitment to understanding our customers better, we may research comments and opinions made public on social media sites. We may also match information on these sites with the data we hold to undertake behavioural analysis and assist with credit decisioning. The information we collect may also assist use with looking at targeted advertising using social media.
Using cookies and IP addresses
If you visit our website, we may receive your IP address, a unique identifier for your computer or other access device. We do not use your IP address to identify you. For more information on using cookies please visit our cookies page.
Obtaining a copy of your information
You have a right of access to a copy of the personal data we hold about you for a fee of £10. Please write to the Information Request Officer, Provident Personal Credit Limited, No 1 Godwin Street, Bradford, BD1 2SU enclosing a cheque payable to Provident Personal Credit Ltd and providing as much information as possible to enable us to locate your information.
Contacting you about products and services
With your permission, we and other companies in the Provident Group may contact you by e-mail, phone, SMS, and mail about products we feel will be of benefit to you. We will not contact you about everything, only if we think it is appropriate and relevant to you. This contact may continue after your relationship with us ends. You may opt out of receiving this information at any time by calling or writing to us.
Third party marketing
Unless you have given us your consent, we will not provide information about you to other companies outside the Provident Group to use for their own marketing purposes.
You can visit any of the Provident websites without identifying who you are or revealing any information about you. However cookies are used to store small amounts of information on your device, which allows certain information from your web browser to be collected. In addition, information will be collected if you commence the application process.
Provident Personal Credit Ltd is registered to process personal data with the Information Commissioner in the UK and the Data Protection Commissioner in ROI and you can view this registration on their website.
Changes to this notice