Staying safe online

Staying safe online


Many of you will use the internet as part of your daily lives, for university study, shopping, socialising, entertainment and banking. By following this advice you can help protect your personal data and keep yourself safe online.

  • Think before you click a link in an email. Do you know and trust the sender? Fake ‘phishing’ emails can be very convincing.
  • Never give your PIN or passwords over the phone - your bank or the police would never ask for these.
  • Use strong passwords and change them regularly.
  • Don’t leave personal details lying around and shred personal correspondence before disposing.
  • Install anti-virus and anti-spyware software on all devices and keep it updated.
  • Back up any important data as this will stop any loss of files if your device breaks, gets lost/stolen or is infected by malware.
  • Don’t assume public Wi-Fi hotspots are secure – never use them to do anything confidential like using your email or making a payment. Where possible use your mobile network internet which will have built-in security.
  • Check your privacy settings. It’s up to you who sees your photos, updates and profile information - be aware of your digital footprint and what information is available about you
  • Be careful what you post online - ‘checking in’ at places online can alert burglars to the fact you are not at home, and posting images of new and expensive items can also be risky.
  • Think before you add friends or contacts: Do you know them? Do you want to give them access to your photos etc?
  • Avoid sharing personal information in public, like your phone number or address.
  • Think before you join in a meme, e.g. ‘your celebrity name is your first pet’s name and your mother’s maiden name’: these are often your bank security questions too.
  • Only shop from secure websites - these will show a locked padlock or unbroken key in your browser, and the URL will begin with https://.

Sextortion/Revenge Porn/Relationship Blackmail

Sextortion is a type of cyber crime where victims are persuaded into performing acts of a sexual nature in front of their webcam. These acts are recorded, or allegedly recorded, by the criminal who threatens to upload the recordings to the internet and send to the victim’s friends and family if demands for money are not met.

Nobody has the right to share intimate images or videos of you without your consent. Intimate image abuse is often referred to as ‘revenge porn’.  Maliciously sharing intimate images of others without their consent is a crime and is a form of sexual abuse.

People online are not always who they say they are. Criminals create fake profiles and identities to befriend people online. Criminals are manipulative, often spending time trying to get to know their victims first to lure people in. Some will send out thousands of generic email threats hoping that someone will panic and respond.  

Think before you share. Even if you are in a relationship. Sharing of intimate images can immediately change the relationship balance.   

  • Don't panic
  • Don't pay
  • Don't be embarressed
  • De-active your accounts
  • Do not engage in further communication
  • Keep a copy of the interaction
  • Report and get help. There are lots of experienced non-judgemental support services and help available to you. 

How to report:

Nottinghamshire Police are encouraging anyone who has experienced intimate image abuse to contact them. Officers want to hear from you and want to help. Report to the Police by calling 101 (non-emergency) or 999 in an emergency.

A member of UoN security staff will always be available to help you with advice, guidance and if appropriate, help you report the matter to the police.  UoN Security can be contacted 24 hours a day on 0115 951 8888.

For further advice about fraud or cyber-crime you can contact Action Fraud the UK’s national reporting centre for cybercrime.  

Here at the University, we have a significant amount of support services available to you. Reporting and getting additional support is easy. Please use the Report and Support platform.

Further information:

For more information visit get safe online in Nottinghamshire

Student Communications Officer

Communications and Marketing
University Park Campus
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone:+44 (0)115 82 32353