Your Password is like a Toothbrush

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Treat your password like your toothbrush: choose a good one, change it regularly, and don’t share it.

Your UCInetID is your gateway to online services at UCI.  Like a skeleton key, it serves as your single credential for most network services on campus.  Use of a UCInetID and password by anyone other than the owner can result in exploitation of UCI resources, loss of personal and university information, and other potentially severe consequences.

You are responsible for anything done with your UCInetID.  Keep your UCInetID password to yourself.  Don’t share it, don’t keep it in a computer file, and don’t write it down.

IT security is a responsibility we all share.  Many cyber-security breaches begin with an innocent but incautious act.  Let’s all keep UCI safe.

Annual UCInetID Password Change Policy

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In response to escalating threats to information security, the Office of Information Technology is working on multiple fronts to strengthen protections. One of the steps we will be taking is to require that UCInetID passwords be changed annually.

Your UCInetID is your key to UCI online services. Use of a UCInetID and password by anyone other than you can result in exploitation of UCI resources, loss of personal and university information, and other potentially negative consequences.

There is a plethora of “malware” on the Internet: on web sites, downloaded via email, and on potentially infected public computers. This software often quietly collects passwords for later use by unscrupulous individuals. The longer you use a given password, the greater the chance it may be captured and misused. Changing it periodically helps you insulate yourself before a thief has an opportunity to use it.

Between January and June 2016, we will be incrementally rolling out a process to require changing UCInetID passwords older than one year. You will receive a series of email notifications starting one month before the change is required. Once that month has passed, a UCInetID whose password has not been changed will be deactivated. It will then need to be re-activated via an online process.

Although UCI Google and Office 365 passwords are not yet linked to UCInetID passwords, we recommend that you change all of these annually as well.

We appreciate your support of this new policy and other security initiatives. Given the imperfect protection that passwords provide, we are also working to implement expanded use of “multifactor authentication”. This involves exchanging a token with a smartphone or other device in addition to entering a password when accessing sensitive campus resources.

For additional information on the new password policy, including advice on choosing a good password, please see www.oit.uci.edu/ucinetid/password-policy/. If you have additional questions, please contact the OIT Help Desk (oit@uci.edu, 949-824-2222).

Choosing a Secure Password

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Choosing a password can be a daunting task. You must choose one that no one can guess but you can remember! Here are some guidelines to help you.

  • When choosing a new password, do not re-use any of your past passwords.
  • Pick a password that has at least 8 characters. Generally speaking, the longer your password is, the more secure it is.
  • Your password should contain at least one alphabetical character (a-z).
  • Passwords are case-sensitive and can have both upper and lower case letters. Using MiXeD case in your password increases its security.
  • Your password should contain at least one non-alphabetical character,which is not the first or last character of the password.
  • Including numbers and punctuation increases the strength of your password.
  • Using a long phrase, up to 63 characters creates a very strong password/pass phrase.
  • Do not use any personal information (name, address, phone number, social security number, UCI employee ID number) as any part of a password.

One helpful technique for choosing a secure password is to think of a phrase you can remember. Take the first letter of each word in the phrase, then change some letters to mixed case or numbers or punctuation. For example, the famous movie line “Louie, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship” could become the password “LItt1tb0abf”.  Note the two capital letters and the two digits.

UCInetID Password Management

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Your UCInetID is your key to online services at the University of California, Irvine. Many online services, including SNAP, WebFiles, Webmail and OIT Mailbox Services, EEE, WebReg, and numerous others, require you to use your UCInetID and password in order to log in.

You should never share your password with anyone, or write it down anyplace it might be observed.  So, what can you do in the event you forget your password?

OIT provides a self-help system for resetting a forgotten password and choosing a new password.  (You may not choose a previously used password.)

To reset your password, go to the Activate web site and select “Reset my Forgotten Password” at the bottom.  The reset page will begin by asking for your UCInetID, your birthdate, and the last four digits of your Social Security number.

This will then take you to a page where you will answer the question you selected at the time you last activated your UCInetID.  Then choose a new password.  If you are unable to supply the authentication information, OIT can reset your password. Call the Help Desk from a campus phone or visit our walk-in Help Desk in Aldrich 115 with photo ID.

Staff and faculty of the UCI Medical School need to work with the HAIS help desk (x43434 on campus or 714-456-3333 at the Medical Center) to change a UCInetID password.

More information on UCInetIDs and identity management can be found on the UCInetID FAQ.

Three Common Questions

I have forgotten my UCInetID password. What can I do now?

  1. Access the UCInetID Web form at: http://activate.uci.edu/ .
  2. Click on “I forgot my password.”
  3. You will be asked to prove your identity with your UCInetID, your date of birth, and the last four digits of your social security number.
  4. Once you have correctly entered that information, you will be asked the password reset question you supplied when you activated your UCInetID.

If you do not have a password question on file, or if you are unable to answer the question, you will have to visit the NACS Response Center in E2130 Engineering Gateway with photo ID. We can reset your UCInetID, at which point you will be able to reactivate it, choosing a new password and establishing a password reset question.

How do I set up my laptop to connect to the wireless network at UCI?

In most cases, there are three basic steps.

  1. Determine the network address of your wireless network device.
  2. Register that address using your UCInetID and password.
  3. Configure your laptop to connect to UCI’s wireless network, UCInet Mobile Access.

Instructions for finding the network address of your wireless card are at: http://www.nacs.uci.edu/mobile/find_mac.html .

Registration of that address can be done at: http://www.nacs.uci.edu/mobile/registration/index.php .

Advice for configuring your system to connect to UCInet Mobile Access can be found at: http://www.nacs.uci.edu/mobile/configure.html .

Can I change my UCI email address?

Email addresses by default are based on your UCInetID and take the form “UCInetID@uci.edu”.

There are two basic ways you can alter the email address you use at UCI.

  1. The simplest way is to choose a “My.Name@uci.edu” address. This service allows faculty and staff to choose a more natural email address based on their name, while keeping their existing UCInetID. (This option is not presently available to students.)To make this request, visit the My.Name page at: http://www.nacs.uci.edu/email/my.name.php .
  2. If you need to, you can change your UCInetID. Please visit this web page for more information: http://www.nacs.uci.edu/ucinetid/change-policy.html .