Canterbury Christ Church University is committed to providing a safe, harassment-free digital environment for everyone. Whilst respecting freedom of speech and opinion within the law, we do not tolerate abuse of any form in the digital environment.

Our Digital Code of Conduct aims to ensure participants (students, staff, members of the public) benefit from digital learning and teaching and enjoy the experience in line with the University’s mission and values.

Our Graduate Attributes is our commitment to provide opportunities to develop certain skills during your time at Christ Church. This includes digitally literate attributes. 

  • Do not share your account details with anyone. This includes family, friends, colleagues or even your manager.
  • Always lock your computer or log out of your account when you spend time away from your desk or if you are using a hot-desk location. Always set a lock code on your mobile devices. Do not share this code with anyone and do not use your date of birth.
  • Be careful when clicking on attachments or links. If you’re not sure about a link do not click on it! Be wary of any communication that asks for your personal details.
  • Save your work regularly. Always store your work on your N: drive to keep it safe. If you are working on shared OneDrive documents, remember that once the “owner” of the document deletes a shared document from OneDrive, this file will no longer be accessible to any user. (The IT team cannot recover files deleted from OneDrive.)
  • Make sure your personal anti-virus software is up-to-date. Regularly update the antivirus and the operating system on your own PCs and mobile devices. The University provides free Sophos anti-virus for home use to students and staff. If you experience any issues please contact our Service Desk for further advice.
  • Be careful of what you share online. Never share confidential or privileged information.

It is important that you never share your passwords with anyone, including friends, partners, children or guests who come to visit you on campus. Remember no-one at the university will ask you for your password.

When creating a new password, you should avoid using any data that can be easily guessed, such as family names or your date of birth.

You should also try to mix in capital letters, and include numbers and special characters to add to your security. You could, for example, consider using numbers to replace certain letters or phrases in your password (4 instead of ‘for’, 3 instead of ‘E’, 0 instead of ‘O’).

If you feel you must write down your password, never write down the password itself, but rather a hint that will trigger your memory.

Phishing emails or texts are scams used by criminals to trick you into giving away personal information. These can take many different forms and will often be designed to look like they’ve come from an official source, such as PayPal, your bank, or even the University.

How can I tell if an email or text is a scam?

Some common things to look out for include:

  • Unexpected communication
  • Impersonal greetings
  • Probing questions
  • Urgent warnings
  • Bad spelling and formatting
  • Threats
  • Password requests

What can I do?

We recommend that you always treat emails and texts with a degree of caution – especially when they ask for personal information and look like they come from an official source.

  • If you receive a suspect email, do not open any file attachments.
  • If you have concerns, contact the sender directly via trusted channels such as the organisation’s official website, or their customer service line.
  • Beware of links in emails or texts. If you see a link in a suspicious email or text message do not click on it.
  • Remember, legitimate companies will never ask for your personal or financial information via email or text.
  • If you are worried that you have been scammed contact your bank immediately. If you have received the email via your Christ Church email account or the scam is pretending to be the University, let the i-Zone know as we can look to try and get it blocked.

There are many benefits of using social media well and it can be a positive tool for your learning and teaching and connecting with others. However, it can also come with risks:

  • that you reveal information about yourself (or someone) that someone else is able to use to your disadvantage,
  • that you click on, or download something that contains malware,
  • that you receive or post something that would be interpreted as cyber-bullying, or as any kind of attack on anyone.

Our Social Media Guidelines provide an outline of the behaviour we expect on social media in line with our Student Disciplinary Procedures

Tips on staying safe on social media

  • Check your privacy settings: Learn about and use the privacy and security settings on social networks. They are there to help you control who sees what you post and manage your online experience in a positive way.

    For step by step guides on how to set your privacy settings on different social media platforms click here.
  • Keep personal info personal: Be cautious about how much personal information you provide on social networking sites. The more information you post, the easier it may be for a hacker or someone else to use that information to steal your identity, access your data or commit other crimes such as stalking. Consider turning off the geolocation on your phone and location tagging in your social media apps.
  • Protect your accounts: Just like anything else you need to keep your social media passwords secure. Make your password difficult, do not share with anyone and change frequently.
  • Know and manage your friends: Only accept friend requests from people whom you know or have met in person. Don’t respond to a private message on any social media platform if you do not know the sender.
  • Know what action to take: If someone is harassing or threatening you, remove them from your friends list, block them and report them to the site administrator.

For advice on how to block someone or report an issue on different social media platforms check the Report Harmful Content website.

If you are concerned about a member of the Christ Church community’s behaviour on social media, you can use our online Report+Support tool.

The tracks and traces we leave online constitute our ‘Digital Footprint'.

Managing your online presence is important. Even if you don’t actively post photos of yourself on social media, others might and you need to be clear about the boundaries you wish to establish around your private but also your professional life. Here are some top tips to maintaining a positive digital identity.

  • Post only those things publicly that you want others to see. This might include family, and friends, but also tutors and future employers. Remember your reputation is at stake.
  • Ignore negative tweets, un-tag yourself from photos you are not comfortable with, and keep critical comments to yourself. Avoid trolling other people, and respect their opinions - even if they are not your own.
  • Build a positive reputation by starting a vlog, blog or website that showcases you and your interests. It doesn’t have to be related to your degree subject, but something which demonstrates your passion for a topic and also your digital skills to a future employer.
  • Regularly housekeep your content and maintain an interest in what others are saying about you. Google yourself and look at the results. Are they positive? If you don’t like what you see ask the site administrator to take it down.

For further advice on mapping and managing your digital footprint check out our Learning Skills Hub module.

It is important that we protect all data we handle about people.

It is advised that you do not store other people’s personal details. However, if this is a requirement for research purposes, please check your use with your Personal Academic Tutor to ensure that you comply with the latest data protection regulations.

It is important you gain consent for the processing of any personal data and only collect and use personal data that is needed. You should keep personal data secure at all points of processing and not keep data longer than necessary

  • If a person sends you threatening, abusive or offensive messages online or via social networking sites, they could be committing a criminal offence. You can report this to the Police online or by calling 101.

    The most relevant offences are 'harassment' and 'malicious communications'. For an harassment offence to be committed, there must have been a clear 'course of conduct'. That is, two or more related occurrences. The messages do not necessarily have to be violent in nature, but would need to have caused some alarm or distress.

    If there has only been a single communication, it’s unlikely it would qualify as harassment, but could be considered a malicious communication. For such an offence to be committed, a message must be sent to another person, or sent via a public communications network, that is indecent, grossly offensive, obscene, threatening or menacing.
  • If you have experienced or witnessed online bullying and harassment within the Christ Church online community you can report this via our online Report+Support tool.
  • Report Harmful content: This website offers advice and a platform where you can report content that has caused you or someone you know distress or harm. Specific harms addressed include online abuse, bullying and harassment, threats, impersonation, and various types of upsetting content such as self-harm and suicidal content.
  • Hate speech: Online content which incites hatred on the grounds of race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or gender can be reported to True Vision at report-it.org.uk.
  • If you have been ‘scammed, ripped off or conned’ you can report to Action Fraud online or on 0300 1232040. This website also provides useful advice on how to protect yourself from fraud and cybercrime.
  • Online terrorism: You can report terrorism related content to the police’s Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit at gov.uk/report-terrorism.

Support and resources

If you have experienced or witnessed online bullying and harassment you can talk confidentially to our Student Wellbeing Service or to a Report and Support Adviser for emotional support.

If you are concerned about the security of your Christ Church computing account or your data please contact the IT Hub who will be happy to advise.

Other useful links:

  • Get Safe Online: This helpful website provides information on protecting your computer, smartphone, and tablets when shopping, banking, and using social networks.
  • Refuge tech safety website: This site provides support and advice to women who are being harassed by abusers using modern technology as a weapon of control and coercion.
  • Revenge Porn Helpline: A UK service supporting adults (aged 18+) who are experiencing intimate image abuse, also known as revenge porn.
  • Online harassment field manual: Whether you’re experiencing or witnessing online abuse, this field manual offers concrete strategies for how to defend yourself and others. This guidance was written with and for those disproportionately impacted by online abuse: writers, journalists, artists, and activists who identify as women, BIPOC, and/or LGBTQIA+. Whatever your identity or vocation, anyone active online will find useful tools and resources here for navigating online abuse and tightening digital safety.