Social sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are a great way to keep friends and family up-to-date, and to connect with your new Oregon State community and colleagues. You can use your networks to build a positive online reputation.

No network is without risk, however. University Housing & Dining Services encourages all residents to think safety when participating in online environments. Signing up for a social media account or joining UHDS networks, pages and groups is completely optional. Students should make the decision that is right for their situation, and always be wary about how much personal information they post.

Safety tips

Protect your personal info.
  • 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. It’s OK to limit who you share information with.
  • Once posted, always posted: Think twice before posting pictures or comments you wouldn’t want your parents or future employers to see.
  • Your online reputation can be a good thing: Show your intelligence, thoughtfulness, and mastery of the environment.
  • Keep personal info personal: Be cautious about how much information you reveal on social networking sites to prevent identity theft, access to your data, or the ability of others to stalk or harass you in real life.
  • Secure your accounts. Make passwords long and strong, and maintain separate passwords for separate accounts. Log out and never share your password.
Connect with care.
  • Links in email, tweets, posts, and online advertising are a way that cybercriminals can compromise your computer. If it looks suspicious, even if you know the source, do not open emails or attachments. When in doubt, it’s best to delete or mark as junk email.
  • Be honest if you’re uncomfortable: If a friend posts something about you that makes you uncomfortable or you think is inappropriate, let them know and ask them to untag you or remove the content. Likewise, stay open-minded if a friend approaches you because something you’ve posted makes him or her uncomfortable. People have different tolerances for how much the world knows about them or is shared online. Respect those differences. 
  • 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.
Be a good online citizen.
  • Social networks work best when people maintain the same level of courtesy online as they would in the real world.
  • If you see something, say something. If you believe that you or someone you know has been a victim of harassment or bias related to an actual or perceived background or identity including: age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status, report it as a bias incident even if it occurred online.


Additional resources

Oregon State University "Beaver Nation Live" social media portal

Facebook: Settings and safety

Twitter: Support