Responsible surfing

Please note: familiarise yourself with the University's Acceptable Use Policy (PDF, 94kB) prior to accessing University computer systems.

The Internet contains a lot of useful information, a lot of frankly bizarre stuff and, unfortunately, a lot of inaccurate, libellous, offensive and downright dangerous information, so don't automatically believe everything you read on the Internet. Remember:

Many illegal sites are removed only to reappear elsewhere. A lot of these sites are surfed into by accident because they are often deliberately registered with domain names that are similar to those of well-known and respected brands or companies. If you find such a website:

  1. Do not linger on the page or click any links, navigation icons or popups, no matter how disgusted or intrigued you might be
  2. Report it to the Internet Watch Foundation immediately

It is natural to be inquisitive, but computers, by providing access to so much content, make it very easy to overstep the fine line between inquisitiveness and what is criminally actionable. Computers leave footprints and there are a number of forensic techniques for finding out sites visited and files downloaded, as several recent high-profile prosecutions of those downloading child pornography and copyrighted music files illustrate. Know the possible consequences before you make that search or download that file and make sure that you know what is legal and what is not. Not knowing that something is illegal is not a defence in law.