The information which you keep on the computer system may be of great value to you. There is no absolute guarantee of privacy on a shared computer system, but nevertheless you may have information that you do not want made publicly available.
Your computer account is solely for your own use. University Regulations do not permit you to share it with anyone else and if you do so it is a criminal offence under the Computer Misuse Act. People who need to share access to email can arrange for an email group account giving access to one shared inbox to several people.
Carelessness with passwords can have annoying or expensive consequences. Good passwords should be chosen carefully and always kept secret - never disclose your password to anyone else, not even to a member of IT Services staff.
When you are first given an account you will be given a username and your first password. Your first task should be to replace it with a password that nobody else knows.
Here are some basic rules to be followed when choosing a new password:
Two examples of valid passwords are 7r0n14dy and 64tt4nt. However, these are for illustration only: please do not use these examples yourself!
Your password will be stored on the system in an encrypted form, not as plain text, and therefore cannot be read by other people. Whenever you use a facility that requires you to login, the system will check that the password you enter is the same as the one that is stored.
You should avoid passwords that other people can easily guess. Never use your own name, your username, the name of your partner, your car registration number, or your telephone number or anything else that would be easy to guess. Never use a word that can be found in a dictionary - hackers can automatically try all the words in a dictionary and if your password is there they will eventually find it.
IT Services regularly checks accounts using a program which attempts to guess your password. If this succeeds you will be sent a warning: if the checker can guess your password then so can any hacker. You will be asked to change it immediately; if this is not done your account will be temporarily suspended until you come to the IT Services Enquiries Desk in Engineering 1 to get a new password.
You can change the password using the web page:
When using an IT Services PC the My Accounts icon (shown right) at the top right of the screen takes you directly to this page.
If you forget your password IT Services cannot tell you what it was, nor can disabled accounts be restored with their original password. In both of these situations you will be given a new password (which you should immediately change).
Replacement passwords can be obtained from IT Services Enquiries in Engineering 1 during normal office hours (Monday - Friday, 9.00am - 5.00 pm). Students must bring their registration cards and others must bring identification with them so that Enquiries staff can be sure that they are restoring access to the real owner of the account. The new password should be available within 4 hours.
created on 2010-01-01 by Chris Limb
last updated on 2011-12-02 by Chris Limb