Your privacy is extremely important to us!
The Dreaded Cookie?
Cookies have hit the news a lot recently in light of recent and proposed legislation around privacy and security. We've updated this section is accordance with new requirements, and wanted to take the time here to explain what cookies are, how we use them and how they affect you.
Right from the outset though, let me assure you that (a) cookies aren't scary at all, (b) are predominantly used to make your use of websites considerably better (c) hold very little information on you at all, often practically nothing.
What are cookies and how are they used generally?
For the sake of providing more in depth information feel free to read about cookies in a lot of depth on wikipedia, but we'll cover the basics here.
Cookies are tiny files that your browser (Chrome, Firefox, IE... etc) download from the websites you visit. Not all cookies are the same, but the purpose is to pass information about your behaviour to your browser so that it can retain a history of what you've done online. Crucially however, when you return to a website you visited recently, that website is allowed to read those cookies. Here are some real-world examples of the why that's good for you:
General Website Cookies
When you visit a website, they typically like to know if you've been there before. Many websites do nothing with that information, it purely allows them to know how many people came to their website and of those, how many were returning visitors. They know nothing about you at all, except that you've been there before. More advanced websites will also keep tabs on what you read while you were on the websites. Some will use that information to place links to those articles or pages on the first page you come back to, to allow you easy access. Others might use that information to suggest other articles you'd like based upon what you have read prior.
Shopping Websites Cookies
You'll know by now that when you visit a shopping website you can put things into the basket without logging in. You move around the website adding things from lots of different pages and despite the fact that the shopping website knows nothing about you, it can add those things to a unified list. Sometimes, you don't buy things at that point, but come back a hour later and you'll notice there are still a few things in your basket. This is because a cookie was downloaded to your browser by the shopping site that allows it to know what you added previously so that you don't have to go through adding them all in again. This is a pretty cool feature as doing so would be annoying. It's key to say though, that the cookie has no personal information about you. You simply go back, the site reads it's own cookie file and knows that you were here a short while ago and that you put some things in your basket.
Advertising and Cookies
Most websites either advertise or are advertised upon. Some both. One of the principal justifications for advertising are two thing called 'Reach' and 'Frequency'. This basically means; 'how may people saw the advert?' and 'on average how many times were they each exposed to the advert?'. Advertising cookies try to help advertisers understand this. It doesn't work too well, but it's all they've got. Advertising networks, which are large groups of websites who's agreed to work together through an intermediary ad-server (the machine that shows adverts in banners etc), also use those cookies to understand things that you've done online more generally to enable the machine to understand a little bit more about what you do online. The idea is that if you clicked on advert x, then you might also be interested in advert e. The alternative is that you get exposed to adverts from businesses that decide they want to pay the big bucks. It's not tailored at all, and is the same for everyone. The problem is that everyone isn't the same. This mechanism allows ad-networks to show you adverts that you're more likely to be interested in. It's important to say that these cookies still don't retain information about who you are, just what you've done when on one of the ad-networks websites.
CreditGeeks and Cookies
You do have control over all of this though. Cookies are downloaded and read from your browser on an assumed permission basis, whereby the default setting for most browsers is to permit downloading of cookies. The reason for this is that (a) it's anonymous (b) it improves your experience, and (c) some websites can't be read with this permission being given. But, if you really do want to disable them, you can. This website has a pretty good guide to disabling cookies. It is easy but differs from browser to browser.
If you have any further questions, do feel free to get in touch and we'd be happy to help any way we can.
Note: This section relates to information you give us voluntarily through the contact page.
We don’t sell your private information to third parties, however we may use information you give us to provide you with information on services that we believe will be of genuine benefit to you by helping you to build your credit score. Not spam. Any communication from Credit Geeks to you will be specific to your situation, and tailored to your specific needs. Such promotional email contact could include Credit-Builder Credit Cards, Credit Reporting services, Identity Theft protection and insurance.
If you reach a point where you no longer which to receive such information, or wan to provide us with feedback to help us tailor what we send you further, please use the mechanism included on the email itself or get in touch using our contact page. We are genuinely here to help, and appreciate your helping us to be more helpful.