The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Passwords to Expire, Reset Every 90 days

2 min read

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In order to improve the security of the University of Mary Washington login systems, the majority of students may find themselves facing a login screen informing them that they are required to change their password upon returning to campus from winter break.

According to Dana German, vice president for information technologies, the University of Mary Washington will be making some security and technological changes beginning Jan. 3, 2011 to comply with information technology regulations.  There will be new password requirements as well as a new guest wireless registration procedure.

The new password complexity rules require that students make their passwords at least eight characters in length and include one number and one letter.  The passwords must also contain both upper- and lowercase characters, German said.

According to German, the login systems that will be affected by the new password regulations are EagleNet, Blackboard, Active Directory (using the UMW login option on lab and classroom computers), CleanAccess for wireless network authentication, the EagleOne Card System, and Library A-Z Databases from dorms and off-campus locations.

However, according to a document from German, student email accounts and the Apogee network will not be impacted by these changes.

A new guest wireless access registration is also required as of Jan. 3.
Passwords will expire every 90 days.

“Whenever you do change your password, that’s when your clock starts ticking,” said German.

As such, any student who has changed his or her password in the 90 days preceding Jan. 3 will not be forced to create a new login until that 90-day period has expired.

Some students may wish to reset their passwords before they go home for break, German said.

Recycling passwords will also be limited by the new information technology regulations.

“You can’t reuse the same password within 24 changes,” German said.

“Guest users will be required to complete an online self-registration process.  Each self-registration process will be valid for a 24-hour period,” according to German’s document.

“I can see this being a major source of frustration for students,” said senior Cara MacDonald of the new policies.

“It seems very safe, [because] there won’t be so many hacks and whatnot,” sophomore Brittany Lambeth said.  “But that’s a lot to deal with, especially because you can’t rotate.  You have to come up with something brand new.”

The regulations may change as time passes.

“We’re still ironing out some of the details, so it’s possible that there will be some variations and change,” German said.

Photo by Marie Sicola/Bullet