How it could happen to you
Download an app for fun or fitness, say, and you can be at risk of giving away a lot more than you think.
Silly quizzes or games apps that while away the hours might seem like innocent fun but many can access your contacts, emails and even take photos or videos.
Fitness apps track the number of daily steps you take, how far (and how often) you run, where you’re going and even how much sleep you get – your health is of huge interest to firms.
But while you can get discounts and special offers, this data can also be used by firms to gauge how you’re feeling, how tired you might be, your overall fitness levels and how active you are.
Stop, think and act
Always check your settings to see what data your apps are ‘permitted’ to access on your device. You’ll often see ‘permission’ boxes pop up on your mobile device screen, asking if you’ll allow it to access different types of data.
One of the most common is permission to access your physical location (your ‘GPS’) – used in exercise apps – as well as your contacts and photos.
Go into your mobile device settings to decide what bits of data you’re happy to share – this can usually be done by changing your privacy settings.