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Campus Computing News

Changes to EUID Password Standards

By Dr. Philip Baczewski, Associate Director of Academic Computing

The UNT Computing and Information Technology Center has begun an effort to strengthen password security for the information systems used by students, faculty, and staff. The goal of this effort is to protect personal and sensitive information that may be stored on UNT computing systems. As a first step, strong passwords will now be required for using your EUID to access systems including EIS, EagleMail, WebCT, my.unt.edu, and Central Web page editing.

A strong password is one that is not easily guessed by people or computer programs. For example, your name is not a strong password, since that is information known to many others. Likewise, words in a dictionary are not strong passwords, since computer programs will easily read that dictionary and try each word if it knows your login name. A strong password is a less obvious sequence of characters which contains a variety of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and punctuation.

EUID Passwords may expire soon . . .

To ensure that strong passwords are in use, it may be necessary for UNT to set an immediate expiration date on your password before the end of this calendar year (2004). If we do so and you have not recently changed your password, you will then need to change it or reset it before you can log into central computing systems such as EIS, EagleMail, and my.unt.edu.

To change your EUID password, you can point any web browser at http://ams.unt.edu/ and follow the steps on that page. Detailed instructions for changing or resetting your password can be found on the CITC helpdesk page ( http://www.unt.edu/helpdesk ). Once you set a new password, it will be valid for 120 days.

When you change or reset your EUID password via the UNT Account Management Page ( http://ams.unt.edu/ ), your new password will now have to contain upper and lower case characters and either a number or punctuation mark. Your password will need to be something other than a recognizable word or name. If your password is not considered strong enough by the Account Management program, you can ask it to suggest a strengthened password for you and it will provide you with a list of possible strong passwords based on what you previously entered.

Don't wait to change your password!

If you don't have a strong password set for your EUID, we suggest that you do so as soon as possible. This will prevent our manual expiration process from disabling your account and allow you to reset your password in a deliberate manner so that you can have time to decide on a value that is most memorable to you. Note that this information applies only to the EUID password used for the systems mentioned above and not for Windows workstation or Novell Network access.

For more information about UNT's password security practices, please read the article "Protecting Your Digital Identity: Changes to Password Procedures at UNT"  in the August, 2004 issue of Benchmarks Online (see, http://www.unt.edu/benchmarks/archives/2004/august04/comp.htm ).

Questions about your EUID password or requests for help changing it can be directed to the CITC Helpdesk (940-565-2324 or helpdesk@unt.edu).

We appreciate your help in maintaining a secure computing environment at UNT.

 

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