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Online Safety

Top tips for staying safe online.


  • Use a strong password and where two factor authentication is available it's advisable to use it.
  • Never save passwords.
  • Never share passwords.
  • Don't reuse old passwords.
  • Don't use the same password for different services, eg online banking and social networks.
  • Ensure nobody is watching when you enter your password.
  • The University will never ever ask you for your password. See the phishing section.
  • Consider creating a password safe.
  • University password help.


Beware of phishing. If your details are requested by e.g. your bank, do not click on the link in the email, it is likely to be fraudulent. If in doubt, independently navigate to their legitimate website using their known web address.

Websites and social networking

  • When logging in to a web site, or providing secure information such as credit card details, ensure you are entering them on a secure site. You can do this by looking for the padlock symbol in the address bar in your web browser.
  • Never share your personal details (date of birth, home address, bank details etc.) over email or social networking sites. It can lead to identity theft or worse.
  • Beware of what information you may be sharing and with whom.
  • Anything you put on the web can escape into the public domain.
  • Beware of what information can be gleaned about you and by whom from what you post (text and images). For example, your home address (e.g. from photos outside your front door), where you are now and how often you go there (e.g. by you checking in at a location). Many devices now embed GPS coordinates in the photographs they take!

AntiVirus and updates

  • Ensure your devices have the latest updates and antiVirus installed.
  • Ensure your AntiVirus updates its signatures frequently (daily / hourly).

Emails and attachments

  • It is very common to get phishing emails - see phishing section. Don't be taken in by fake emails claiming you need to update your email account or that it's run out of space, or that some foreign banker, minister, or general's daughter needs your help for "$42,000,000 FORTY TWO MILLION US DOLARS!!!".
  • Don't download attachments from sources you don't recognise. These often contain viruses.
  • When downloading attachments from sources you do recognise, before you open it, run a scan for threats.
  • Be careful of email links. Hover over them to check the web address that you will go to is actually the same as what is written in the link. If in doubt open up a web browser and manually type in what you know as the correct web address for the site, or Google it!
  • Remember, anything you write in an email could get forwarded on to others!


Make sure you are downloading legal content from legitimate sites. Otherwise you may download more than you were expecting to, e.g. malware.

Shared computer

If you share your computer with other members of your family, make sure they have their own accounts. This will prevent:

Report problems

  • Report problems as soon as possible.
  • Report security problems and abusive emails etc to
  • Abuse on social networking sites should be reported via their own reporting mechanism. In addition, if the abuse is from another member of the University, see our Dignity and Respect policy and support contacts.
  • Report fraud and cyber crime to Action Fraud, the UK's national fraud and cyber crime reporting centre.

Phones and tablets

Help keep data on your phone, tablet or other mobile device safe with our mobile security advice.

Helpful websites