Take control of your personal data

Stay safe online

Discover ways to help keep control over your personal data online.

What is personal data?

At its simplest, this is your name, age, gender, where you live, if you’re married or not, an email address and bank account details. But the definition of personal data has grown in the digital age to also include your online behaviour. This can cover your favourite types of food, what you buy most online (at what price and how often), where you are in the country (and what you’re getting up to). It can also include your favourite films and TV shows, who your online friends are, photos on social media and even which way you might vote in an election.

Apps give away a lot of information

Download an app for fun and you could put your personal information at risk.

Quiz or game apps that offer a fun few minutes when you’re bored may seem innocent, but they could access your contacts, emails and even take photos or videos.  

Similarly, 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 – information you might not want to share with someone else.

  • Always check your settings to see what data your apps are allowed to access. You’ll often see ‘permission’ boxes appear on your screen to ask if you’ll allow access to different types of data
  • One of the most common is permission to access your location – common with fitness and photo apps

Review your mobile device settings regularly to check that apps you’ve installed don’t have access to more data than you’d like. You can usually change any settings you don’t like, but always be prepared to delete an app if it’s looking at more than you’re comfortable with.

Sharing on social media can reveal too much

It’s a daily habit for millions of people. You switch on your smartphone to share some photos on social media of a night out with friends, tag everyone with their names and even say where you went to. You might also like a few other posts by other people and maybe even complete a silly quiz that tells you which kind of root vegetable you’re most like. 

All harmless fun on the surface, but the personal data you’ve shared can be used to profile you and your life. It can give insights into your spending habits and income, whether or not you’re in a relationship, your political beliefs, favourite shops and even how you’re feeling at that given moment.

Not everyone is concerned about this, but it’s worth paying some attention to the information you share online – and who you share it with. So always take the time to review the settings of any social media apps you use to make sure they’re how you like them. And do it regularly – apps are updated frequently and settings can change without your knowledge.  

A Trojan is an app that may look safe, but is really anything but

A Trojan is a type of malware where a harmful app pretends to be something completely innocent. 

You may get an email offering free apps or games, with a download link. When you open the link, the downloaded app may even work as you’d expect – but in reality, the app has opened a ‘backdoor’ to your computer or mobile device that a criminal can use. 

Trojans can grant someone remote access to your computer and all of its contents, and even allow it to be used as part of a vast criminal network used to attack other computer systems – all without your knowledge. 

A young woman writes notes as she takes a phone call at a table in a café

How to report fraud

Think you’ve been a victim?

Get in touch with us right away if you think you’ve seen suspicious activity on your account. Here you’ll find the numbers you need, the next steps to take and what we’ll do to help. 

Protect yourself from scams

Learn about the different types of scam

Scams are getting more sophisticated every day, so it’s important to be alert. We’ve put together a list of current scams to help keep you protected.

Master your Moneyverse

…and make money work for you

We’ve all got our own personal relationship with money – the way we spend it, save it, (try to) look after it and use it to help reach our goals and shape our dreams. This is your Moneyverse. It’s as unique as you are and we can help you become its master.

A person holding up an umbrella in the rain in front of a Barclays branch

Protecting your account

How we help to keep your money safe

We always look out for threats from fraudsters. Here are some measures we take to make sure your money is secure.