This page details how best to stay safe when using the internet, how to prevent malware, hacking, scams and advice on using social networking websites:
Here are some ways to improve online safety:
- Install antivirus software and keep it updated.
- Do not open an email attachment if you don't know the sender.
- Make sure your privacy settings are set to ‘Friends Only’ on Facebook.
- Be wary when using your webcam and make sure whoever you are contacting is someone you know and trust.
- Use different passwords and email addresses for different activities online.
- Use passwords that combine letters and numbers.
- Run anti-spyware tools such as Windows Defender.
- Never reply to spam.
- If you're not sure – ask for help from Student IT Support Centre located next to the Union Building.
Scam 'Student Loan' emails
Some students are receiving scam emails claiming to be from Student Finance England and asking for account details. These emails may also come from friends on Facebook.
These are fraudulent emails. Student Finance England will never email you asking you to confirm your login or user details. If you receive an email that appears to be from them and asks you to visit their site and confirm your details then it is probably a 'phishing' email.
Phishing is a fraudulent activity designed to trick you into giving out your login details, fraudsters can then use this information to login to your account and steal information. If you think that someone might have guessed or found your login details, or you have disclosed them after a phishing email, reset your password and secret answer online.
If you receive an email like this then you should forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is important you make sure you keep your information secure. Don't keep your customer reference number and login details in the same place.
- Be suspicious of unsolicited phone calls and emails.
- Check a web site's security policy and make sure that your information is encrypted before you send it over the internet.
- Signs of encryption include a URL that begins with "https://" and a padlock icon on your browser's status bar.
- When disposing of personal information, make sure it is shredded/ ripped up so people cannot see this information.
Some symptoms of ID theft
- You stop getting bills or other regular correspondence – a thief may have given a different address in place of your own.
- Receiving credit cards for which you did not apply.
- Denial of credit for no apparent reason or you are unexpectedly turned down for a credit card.
- Calls from debt collectors or companies about things you didn't buy.
- Entries on your bank statement you don't recognise.
Social networking sites are public forums. Your identity could be visible to anyone, including people with malicious intentions. Not everyone is who they say they are and not everything you read is true.
- Keep your privacy settings to 'friends only'.
- Don't display your address, telephone number or date of birth.
- Report users and content that are offensive or threatening.
- Never share your password with anyone.
- Set groups or events to 'secret'.
- Think before you post.
- Never post false information about people.
- Remember that the laws apply equally to social media as they do in real life. That is to say, it is still illegal to make violent threats.
For more information
If you have more questions about being safe online, please contact the Student IT Support Centre, located next to the Union Building, open Monday–Friday 10.00am–4.00pm (term time only).