How to stay safe online


So you're online, eh? Well keep your wits about you. That's true for every website you visit, not just The Student Room. 

And if you need a quick refresher on staying safe online...? Here, we've pulled together a few tips.

tl;dr Have fun, but use your common sense! 

Think about what you're sharing

The whole idea of The Student Room is that it's a public forum - anyone can join in and read what's been posted. That makes it a fun and lively place, but it does also mean everyone can see what you share.

Don't share your personal details We'd strongly recommend you don't ever post your personal contact details on TSR; stuff like your phone number, email address or your halls room at uni.

Use an anonymous username Use the same discretion when it comes to your username. Don't use your real name in your username; making up your own unique username means you can always post anonymously. 

What to do if you feel targeted on the site

If at any point you feel like you are receiving unwanted attention that makes you feel uncomfortable i.e private messages from people you have never spoken to or it feels like a member is following you around the site make sure you ignore them and report their posts and private messages to the community team using the report function

If banter turns to bullying
If you've experienced some banter on the site in the past but now it doesn't seem so friendly and you feel like you're being bullied or harassed please report the posts or private messages immediately and write to the community team in confidence in the private forum. Ask the CT where we will be able to support and advise you. 

Using the report function

This is the best way to notify the community team of any rule-breaking posts and activity on the site. We have videos here on where to find and how to use the report function. 

Who sees my report and what happens next
The report queue is seen by members of community team who are employees of The Student Room. We review your report, review the content of the reported post/ discussion and make a decision as to whether it has broken any site rules. We'll then respond to you and let you know that we've looked into it, taken the necessary steps to resolve the problem and close the report. 

For more info on using The Student Room, check out the community guidelines

Passwords

Make it secure
Keeping your account private is much easier if you've got a decent password. Here are a couple of ways to come up with a strong password.

1. Bung together a combination of upper and lower-case characters, numbers and symbols. Aim for a password at least eight characters long. Result: instant strong password. Nice. Trouble is, it might be tricky to remember. A neat way to do it is to use a memorable phrase and replace certain letters with symbols.
eg Off to university becomes 0ff2un1vers1ty!

2. We're big fans of the xkcd school of password generation. Just think of four random common words and stitch them together. eg graveltrainsnakehouse
(although some people now say you should use six words
 

Handy password advice 
- The whole point of a password is that it's secret - don't tell it to other people
- Make your password unique, not something that will be easily guessed
- Have different passwords for all your online accounts
- If you’re not good at remembering passwords, it's fine to write it down. Just make sure you store it somewhere safe (not next to your computer)
- Change your password every now and then
- Don’t use your name or username in your password

Meeting online people IRL

One of things people love about The Student Room is that you can make friends here. Maybe you might want to meet up with some of those people in real life. Sounds fun! Just remember a few things first...

1. Make sure your family/friends know where you're going.
2. Pick a busy public place. 
3. For a first meeting, take someone else with you.