YUSU launch Online Awareness Week

YUSU have launched an Online Awareness Week initiative to warn students about the dangers of using social networking sites.

The initiative is especially focusing on the problems of identity theft, inappropriate material that may discourage potential employers and plagiarism.

Hayley Fairclough, Vanbrugh Welfare Officer, is heading the campaign. She said: “Online Awareness week hopes to impress upon students the potential dangers associated with their beloved social networking sites… Facebook has many hidden dangers. Even if your profile is private, every application you add essentially gives a third party unlimited access to your personal data. As well as this, 62% of British employers check such sites before hiring candidates, with a quarter having rejected potential employees based on the content found.”

The screen campaign material used by YUSU warns students to restrict access to their Facebook pages to reduce the risk of identity theft or stalking, exercise discretion when posting information and photos to curtail the risk of failed employment opportunities in the future, and refrain from insulting others online. It highlights that student posts on newsgroups and online communities may be in the public domain and archives where they can be found years later. Charlie Leyland, YUSU Academic and Welfare Officer, advised: “Don’t say anything online that you wouldn’t consider saying in person: bullying is bullying whatever format and will be taken just as seriously, and never give out passwords.”

It also warns students to ensure that they are aware of copyright laws in order to prevent inadvertent plagiarism, and to get into the habit of using different passwords to make it harder for people to access private information.

Leyland added: “I think it’s a really important issue for students to be aware of as the computer screen can act as a pretty effective buffer for most people giving a real and dangerous false confidence. It’s all too easy to forget how accessible personal details are and the repercussions of lax security can be very serious.”

Fairclough further advised, “Students can adjust their privacy settings to decrease the chances of them being caught out in the same way, whilst making sure that the pictures they’re tagged in and the posts on their walls are things they’d be happy with their Mum seeing. Check out the posters, leaflets and postcards located around campus for more information – a little vigilance now could prevent unfortunate incidents in the future!”

More information about Online Awareness Week can be found at www.yusu.org/onlineawareness


  1. Fantastic campaign – we’ve needed something big like this to raise awareness of these issues for a long time now. A lot of people don’t understand how seriously they can affect their lives in the wrong circumstances.

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  2. This is pretty timely given the debates around the UGM motions. Some pretty strong anti-equality, anti-liberal views aired in that forum. I wonder if they’ll interfere with of the students’ applications for jobs entailing any kind of people management or teamwork for them in the future…people should think of consequences before they submit, not only for the people they’re targeting, but for themselves…

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  3. Good work Team Welfare!
    Also, Hayley is the VANBRUGH welfare officer, not VANBURGH. :-)

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  4. Hayley is also the VANBRUGH LGBT Rep, not the Welfare Officer. Not sure if you’re aware of this, but you’re the Vanbrugh Welfare Officer Kate!! :-D

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  5. Jay, to trivialise this even more, let me remind you that you forgot Albert – Kate is in fact Vanbrugh’s female welfare rep :p

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  6. We’re all welfare officers/reps as we all do the same job, regardless of which constituents we represent at drop-ins. This is an irrelevant debate, the only thing of importance here is the campaign.

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  7. “Some pretty strong anti-equality, anti-liberal views aired in that forum…”

    This is a pretty ridiculous statement. Funny enough ‘anon’, ‘equality’ isn’t a given belief that everyone subscribes to or believes in and neither is liberalism. Such a blind belief in such dead-dogma represents everything that is wrong with these debates. I happen to think that a drive for the unnatural concept of ‘equality’ and unrestrained liberalism have pretty much destroyed this and many other countries over the past 60 years.

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  8. “I happen to think that a drive for the unnatural concept of ‘equality’ and unrestrained liberalism have pretty much destroyed this and many other countries over the past 60 years.”

    My thoughts exactly. It’s really a shame how the Aryan race had to go through the whole ‘allied victory’ and the subsequent ‘social liberalisation’, but hey it seems that you’re finally making some sense.

    Comment edited by a moderator.

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  9. 30 May ’09 at 7:42 pm

    Ayatollah Khomeini

    May Allah bless the wise words of Mr Taylor.

    The west needs to learn from the example of the great state of Iran. Our great republic has defied the cancer of ‘social liberalism’ that is corrupting your societies.

    You let ‘feminism’ and ‘sexual liberation’ ruin your nations and destroy your souls! You gave women the right to refuse sex! You are no longer forcing gays into hormone therapy! For how long will you let this moral degeneration continue before you listen to the wise words of Mr. Taylor?

    PS: Death to the infidels!

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  10. 1 Jun ’09 at 1:37 pm

    Josef Stalin

    I have to say I agree with the three people above me. Liberalism and capitalism are one and the same. I have been upset to see an increase in fuel prices and pandemic diseases over the last 50 years and it is blatantly as a direct result of the Imperial dogma known as “liberalism”. Until the whole world is united under the banner of communism, and this unrestrained liberalism is brought to an end, the world cannot be truly equal. I have spent years waiting for a communist messiah to show the true flaws in liberalism and it looks as though Dan Taylor may well be that man. Thank you, Mr. Tayor, for your wise words and I hope to see you in a position of ultimate authority in the very near future.

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  12. I was pointing out a spelling mistake with the word Vanbrugh actually, not saying anything about the positions!

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