Online security

We have taken steps to protect your online security; however, we need you to play your part in taking care of your security and maintain safer working practices in all your IT activities.

Confidentiality - our commitment to you 

  • We aim to provide a secure and confidential service and take reasonable steps to protect your privacy.
  • We cannot guarantee 100% security as we have limited control over your actions or the actions of 3rd parties.
  • We aim to uphold confidentiality within the limits of the Counselling Service, the University of Birmingham and UK law.  

Protect your password

  • Never share your login passwords with anyone else (for emails/websites etc)
  • Always password protect your Wi-Fi connection
  • If you write passwords down – keep them somewhere safe
  • If you suspect that your password has been compromised get it changed immediately
  • Use strong passwords made up from a combination of numbers, lower and upper case letters and is ideally at least 8 characters long. For example: O7ymp1c2012

Avoid spying, prying eyes and eavesdropping

  • Carefully select your workspace – are you being overlooked or overheard?
  • Never leave your computer while you are logged on
  • Ensure the computer you use is protected against attacks from viruses/hackers/spyware etc and has a firewall in place (University computers have these as standard) which are regularly monitored and updated)
  • Delete your browsing history, cookies and temporary files especially if using a shared computer. (Also, this helps them to work faster)
  • Delete emails (including ‘sent items’ and empty the ‘deleted items’’ folder). To make a permanent copy, paste it to a word document and password protect it.
  • If at any time you believe you have been hacked or your system compromised, please inform your counsellor as soon as possible to reduce the impact of the attack.
  • IT services can help with addressing these problems.

Respect yourself and others

  • Please remember to be respectful of the counselling relationship and not post, publish or otherwise share any information on the internet or anywhere else about your counselling communications. 
  • In order to protect the confidential nature and the boundaries of the counselling relationship, your counsellor will not accept any invitations to join your social networks, even after the counselling has ended.
  • In general, think very carefully about what you chose to post on the internet including social networking sites, as once it is in the public domain you could leave yourself open to claims of defamation, bullying or harassment.
  • Be aware that your online behaviour may be considered as bringing the University into disrepute and action may be taken against you.
  • Consider which pictures you want to post (or are tagged in) as these can be viewed by prospective employers and may not portray you in the best possible light! 
  • If you experience being victimised online, contact the Guild of Students for more information and support.