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Freshers Week – Stay Safe Online and Avoid Scams

Being at university or college is about studying hard and enjoying the experience but it's also about taking more responsibility for yourself.

Posted on 17 September 2020

There are definitely things you can to do to keep yourself, your finances and your devices free from harm online and offline, whether you’re studying, out having fun or relaxing. 

  • Don’t ‘Unlock’ your Smartphone
    You’re also opening your phone up to dodgy apps and malicious software that can infect your phone and damage or delete the data you have on it.
  • Protect your ID, and don’t overshare
    Never reveal passwords or provide confidential information in return for freebies.
  • Protect your reputation
    What goes online stays online, so think about what you’re posting and how it might affect your future job hunting
  • Look after your tech and how you connect
    Avoid using wifi hotspots for accessing confidential or financial sites, as there’s no guarantee they’re secure. Turn off location services to keep your whereabouts to yourself.
  • Practise safe dating
    If you’re dating online, use reputable apps and keep the conversation on the app. Remember that not everyone is who they say they are.  Don’t be afraid to block or say ‘no’.
  • Never be put under pressure to do something you disagree or feel uncomfortable with. 
    This might be sending or publishing intimate photos, harmful pranking, extreme content, hacking social media accounts or any kind of radicalisation.
  • There’s a fine line between gaming and gambling
    For some people, a bit of harmless betting can turn into a habit.
  • Keep your coding legal
    Heavyweight coders are sometimes targeted by cyber criminals who need their skills. If you get approached, think about the consequences to yourself and others.


There are lots of scams specifically targeted at students. Fake texts, emails, calls and posts claiming to be from your bank, student loan provider or HMRC, could cost you your money or your identity.

Derbyshire Safeguarding Adults Board have produced a leaflet, attached to this page, to bring together some top tips to help students beat the scammers.

If you fall victim to a scam, you should report it to Action Fraud, the national fraud reporting service tel: 0300 123 2040.