Safer data sharing: what you need to know
What’s data sharing?
Data is being shared all the time and in lots of different ways. If you fill in a job application, download an app or post on social media, you’re sharing some kind of personal data – information that could be used to identify you. Many companies use what they know about your location, likes and dislikes to improve their customer service or give you personalised offers.
However, sharing your data does come with some risks. To protect yourself from fraud, it’s always important to consider what you’re sharing, who you’re sharing it with, and how your data is kept safe. Before you decide to share any personal information, here’s a few simple tips to help you stay secure.
- Trust your instincts. If something seems too good to be true, it’s probably a scam.
- Check who you’re speaking to. If a company contacts you out of the blue asking for your personal information, contact the company directly yourself using a known email or phone number before giving away any personal information.
- Choose a PIN and password that’s secure and change it if you’re worried that someone may know it.
- Keep your phone and passcode safe – details held on your phone can be just as useful to a fraudster as those on your home computer.
- Take time to read the small print to make sure you’re happy with how your data will be used.
- Be aware of the changes that might affect how your data is used, for example GDPR and Open Banking. If you do decide to share your data through Open Banking, check the company is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and listed on the Open Banking Directory.
- Check your statements regularly and tell us if you spot anything suspicious.
- Remember that if you decide to share your data with a company, you can change your mind at any time.
- Fraudsters sometimes pretend to be trusted companies, so:
- Know how to spot a suspicious email or text, or a telephone fraudster.
- Know the signs of a secure website. The most secure sites have a green padlock in the address bar, and https:// at the beginning of the web address.
- Don’t be too quick to give away personal information, especially on social media sites – that ‘fun’ social media quiz could be a fraudster trying to get hold of your personal details.
How we keep your data safe
You should also remember:
- The Halifax will never ask you to share your Online Banking password, login details or PIN.
- We’ll never contact you to ask you to transfer money into another account.
If you’re in any doubt, don’t share any information or click on any links. And if you think you’ve been contacted by a fraudster, report it.