Staying safe on The Student Room

We want you to enjoy The Student Room. It's a great place to interact, get answers to your questions, learn and make friends; but as with every other social site on the web there are risks associated with sharing personal information that you should be aware of.

Protecting identity and privacy

When choosing a username - please don't use your real name, choose something more random instead that does not make you identifiable.

Unlike other social media your avatar (profile photo) isn't expected to be a photo of you. Lots of our members use online gifs, memes, cartoon characters, celebrities or cute animals. 

Only add information to your profile that you feel comfortable sharing and that doesn't directly identify you. Things like subjects studied and grades are fine. 

Think carefully before posting photos of yourself.  Once you’ve put a picture of yourself on TSR is it public and anyway looking at the forum will be able to see it. They might also download it or take a screen shot, it won’t belong to just you anymore.

Remember to be careful when posting on the forum. This is a public site and is available for all to see. You may not wish to post information that could be linked to you personally or make you easily contactable.

Information we strongly recommend you do not post includes:

  • Links to any of your other social media profiles i.e. Snapchat, Instagram or Facebook 
  • E-mail address
  • Landline and mobile phone numbers
  • Passwords
  • Postal address

If you must post any personal information, keep it fairly general and non-specific. For example posting about the universities you’re interested in will not identify you. Going into lots of detail about a relationship issue and sharing your full experience might. It’s likely your friends are also using TSR so be aware that if they know your story they might identify you.  

If you choose to share information that can be linked to you personally, then be doubly careful about what you are saying (whether it's about you or other people). Is it how you want to be seen by people you may know offline? Does it falsely represent who you are? You wouldn't be the first person to have something you said on the internet and it come back and haunt them. University tutors and employers (and even school teachers) regularly visit the site, so be careful.

Staying safe when making friends online

Over the years lots of our members have made life-long friends on TSR. If you build a friendship here, you might choose to keep on TSR only and that’s ok. Never feel pressured to give out your number or another social media profile. If are being asked for this information, make sure you contact the community team here.

Don’t arrange to meet up with people you’ve met online. If someone is asking you to make sure you report it to the community team at TSR and also speak to your parent or carer about what’s happened.

Remember that not everyone online is who they say they are. You might have heard of catfishing. This is when someone creates a duplicate or fake profile and pretends to be someone they are not. If you suspect you are being ‘catfished’ on The Student Room please contact the community team immediately.

If you do choose to meet people from TSR or any other social platform in the real world ensure that your family and friends know where you are going and what time you plan to be back. Meet in a public place and for first meetings, no matter what your age, we always advise you to take someone with you, or meet amongst a group of friends.

If you see something online that makes you feel uncomfortable, unsafe or worried on The Student Room (or any other social media) leave the website, tell a trusted adult immediately. If you viewed it on The Student Room please report it so that we can deal with it and take appropriate action to ensure our members remain safe. 

Reporting a post on TSR

Recieving private messages from strangers

It's not acceptable for strangers to send threatening or harassing private messages to you. If you feel threatened or harassed in any way by another member, please report it using the Ask the Community Team forum or the Post Report button on individual forum posts. It will then be looked into by the moderators and dealt with in line with our community guidelines and rules.

Make sure you tell your parent or carer if someone or something makes you feel uncomfortable or worried.

For more support on The Student Room please visit the TSR Help Centre. 

Other helpful online resources

Childline: Online safety 

UK Safer Internet Centre: Resources for 11-19 year-olds

BBC: A teen guide to staying safe online

Relate - Anyone, relationship support, also sex and porn addiction
T: 0300 0030 396 (need to book appointment for counselling)
Live chat

The Mix- Under 25s, anything
Phone, online and crisis text service. Online forum and group chat.
Speak to the team 
Group chat 
T:0808 808 4994