In today’s update, we have some guidance on how you can avoid COVID-19 scams, an update on what you should do with any library books you are currently holding, as well as information for postgraduate researchers on how to present your thesis.
Elsewhere we hear how UoB researchers are examining the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on child protection practice and children and families.
Today’s updates includes:
• Staying safe online – COVID-19 related scams
• Finalist students: book returns
• Postgraduate researchers – Presenting Your Thesis
• New research project to examine impact of Covid-19 on child protection services
Staying safe online – COVID-19 related scams
We have been receiving reports of a small number of specific COVID-19 related scams targeted at University students and staff which have not been blocked by our email defences.
These scams can take many forms, including:
• Phishing emails. These are emails telling you that your account will expire, you have messages waiting, and your account needs to be validated. All include a link to a website which asks for your login details and many look like an Outlook Web Page. If you receive one, delete it. If you are aware that you have responded to a message, change your password immediately.
• Variations of the “gift card scam”. You are asked to buy gift cards and vouchers and send the codes on the promise that you will be paid for them, but this never happens. If you receive an email like this, you should delete it.
• We are also aware of an email received by some students from a company called uniyearbook.com. Please be aware that this company is not affiliated with the University – it is an independent organisation selling a product. They do state this within the email text but in very small print at the bottom of the message. The University will not ask students for any money for a yearbook type product and the website also requires you to share your personal contact information.
You can find out more about these kind of scams and other useful tips about staying safe online at the IT Security blog.
Finalist students: book returns
Whilst restricted campus operations are still in place, returning/continuing students are asked to please hold on to any library books until the next academic year.
For finalists who will not be returning next year and are unable to leave books with fellow students, you can leave books at one of the accommodation receptions in University of Birmingham accommodation if you are coming to collect your belongings.
• Books should be placed in a bag/envelope with your name, ID number and the date of return noted inside.
• Books will remain on your account for a while, until library staff are able to return to campus.
If you are unable to return your library books or have any questions about your loans or returns, you can contact Library Services.
Postgraduate researchers – Presenting your thesis
You may be interested, particularly if you are in the final stages of your programme, in the new version of the "Presenting your thesis" document, which is now available from Library Services. This document deals with the practicalities of producing your thesis in a format that is acceptable for examination and deposit in the Library, including information on font size, margins, tables of contents, as well as soft and hard binding.
New research project to examine impact of Covid-19 on child protection services
A new research project will explore the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on child protection practice and children and families, with the aim of improving the capacity of social workers to keep children safe in a period of institutionalised social distancing.
The study, which will be led by the University, will look at how social work practice, which relies heavily on achieving closeness to keep children safe, most often in the family home, can help families in a period of social distancing, increased stress, poverty, risks of domestic abuse and other harms within families.
Student Communications Team