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News and Media: 2. Before you begin: the digital you

Safety and Security

Your interaction with online media not provided by the University

Online safety can fall into two categories:

  1. keeping your online account secure
  2. protecting your privacy

Online presence is becoming more prominent. We use online banking, shop online, watch films and use social media to connect with family and friends. 

Remember, nothing is private on the Internet.

Many sites that you visit and click on have the ability to store your information. This is known as your "digital footprint" and it's the data that you leave behind after interacting in online environments such as social media websites or discussion boards. 

Be cautious of personal material and information that is posted online by yourself or others. This is important as employers are increasingly using social media to evaluate and find potential employees.

There are tips and concepts to keep in mind to improve the quality of your online safety. 

Further information on Information Services safety and security.  

The basics...

  • Never share your username or password. Don't write it down in a place it could possibly be found.
  • Create a username and password that would be difficult for a third party to guess or understand.
  • Remember to log out of all websites, internet browsers and applications, especially when you are using a computer in a public place such as the library.

The basics...

  • Never give out details such as your name, age, birthday, address or phone number in settings like chat rooms or on social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.
  • Do not accept people you do not know as "friends" on social media websites
  • Be careful when interacting or sharing information with other Internet users
  • When completing online forms -- such as surveys, email mailing lists, or payment details for shopping sites, ensure that the website is reputable, legal, and secure.

The basics...

Social media sites such as Facebook allow you to alter and change the settings that determine how the information you enter and upload is displayed, used and retrieved online.

  • Go to the user guide or help section of the social media site - understand what you can customise and adjust them accordingly. 
  • Confirm that your profile information is accessible only to the extent you choose.
  • To ensure the settings work properly, test it out! Try searching your name using a standard search engine such as Google and see what is displayed!
  • Do not accept people you do not know as "friends" on social media websites
  • Be careful when interacting or sharing information with other Internet users

Top tips!

Always be aware!

  • Check user names, URLs, any noticeable changes in the look of a webpage, the unusualness of the request or delivery method.

Use tools!

  •  Remember to use any tools available to you - security applications, password updates, privacy settings, links/buttons to report suspicious activities.

Update, update, update!

  • Remember to update everything you can including browsers, phones, tablets, virus protection. Security updates often quickly respond to known issues and will block any threat. 

Ask yourself: do you want everyone to see your details?

  • Don't divulge any personal information on social media including personal account information via email, sharing or forwarding untrusted information to others. 

Trust your instincts

  • They say if it's too good to be true, it usually is! If you doubt the authority of a message or start to question if an email/file is genuine - it might very well be a scam/sent from an unauthorised sender.