The majority of Students entering University will already be prolific users of the Internet for shopping, social networking, banking and for finding information about just about anything.
The web is an incredible tool for gathering and sharing information, for collaboration and for generally keeping up with friends and family. Sites such as Facebook are widely used and many of our staff and students are already using these extensively for social and study purposes.
Virtual environments such as Second Life offer almost limitless opportunities to engage with people across the globe in real time and tour simulated worlds created by other users.
In the main, all of these sites are enjoyed by the majority of their users; but there will always be those with less than honourable intentions. It isn't always easy to spot these but by taking a few sensible precautions you can get the most out of your online experience without taking unnecessary risks.
When you subscribe to certain sites you will be allocated a username and password; these, like your University username and password, should never be shared with anybody. No Bank, Social networking site, Lottery, or Shopping site is likely to ask you to reveal your password so if you receive an email asking you for this the chances are it isn't genuine.
Remember not to reveal too much personal information on social networking sites, in particular your address. Be extra careful on group sites which are viewable by non members. Its equally important to make sure you don't reveal personal information about your friends and family- and be careful what pictures you post online; your friends might not thank you if embarrassing photos of them are stumbled across by potential employers and such.
Above all, exercise reasonable caution and always act with courtesy when online. If at any point you feel that you are being harassed or bullied in an online environment you should notify the sites moderators and remember you can seek support from your Student Advice team at any time.