1. What is a cookie and why are they used?
A cookie is a small piece of text information 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 generally used by most website operators to recognise visitors when they return, to store any preferences expressed by visitors when using the website and help highlight areas for website improvement, all of which is intended to improve the visitor experience.
It is important to note that cookies cannot be used by themselves to personally identify you 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.
2. 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.
3. 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 www.providentcareers.co.uk, 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 is 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 www.providentcareers.co.uk is secure.
4. Does www.providentcareers.co.uk set cookies?
Yes; www.providentcareers.co.uk sets the following cookies.
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 this information will be automatically deleted when you leave our website.
Persistent analytics cookie
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.
Persistent authentication cookie
To help us recognise whether you’ve been to our site before, so that when you return we can tailor content to your preferences.
Please note that www.providentcareers.co.uk does not set cookies for marketing purposes.
5. 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. Listed below are instructions for a few common browser types.
Windows Internet Explorer:
Select ‘Tools’ in the header menu
Select ‘Delete Browsing History’ in the tools menu
Select ‘Delete Cookies’
When asked if you’re sure you want to delete all cookies, select ‘Yes’
Click the ‘Spanner’ icon in the top right hand corner of the browser
Select ‘Clear Browsing Data’
Ensure the ‘Delete cookies and other site and plug-in data’ tick box is selected and choose your preferred timescale from the dropdown menu – ‘From the beginning of time’ will delete ALL cookies.
Click the ‘Clear browsing data’ button
Select ‘Tools’ in the header menu
Select ‘Clear Recent History’ in the tools menu
Click the arrow next to ‘Details’ and ensure ‘Cookies’ is selected
Select a time range to clear from the dropdown menu – ‘Everything’ will delete ALL cookies
Click ‘Clear Now’
You can find simple step-by-step instructions for many other browser types on the About Cookies website.
You can also amend your preferences in your browser settings to control whether or not your browser accepts cookies at all, 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.