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What characters can I use in my password?

These instructions are for University of Sussex staff, students and others associated with the institution. 


There are some simple rules that you must follow when changing your password:

  1. Your password must be at least 10 characters long.
  2. Remember that UPPERCASE letters are different from lowercase letters (for example, A is treated as different from a).
  3. It must contain at least one character that is not a letter, such as a digit.

The following special characters can be used in passwords changed using the My IT Account facility:

curly brackets { }         round brackets ( )      square brackets [ ]
colon, semi-colon : ; caret ^
comma , full-stop . question mark ?
exclamation mark ! bar or pipe | ampersand &
underscore _ backtick ` tilde ~
at @ dollar $ percent %
slash and backslash / \  arithmetic symbols  =+-*  single and double quotes  " '


The following characters are also permitted:

  • Uppercase [A-Z] and lowercase [a-z] English alphabet characters
  • Digits 0-9
  • spaces

The following are permitted, but may cause problems on some systems:

  • 'greater than': >
  • 'less than': <

You may not use any of the following characters:

  • Any accented or non-english alphabetic characters: ü î ø å é etc.
  • A leading space or trailing space

The upper limit for password length is set at 127 characters, however we recommend using something memorable.



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This is question number 839, which appears in the following categories:

Created by Roger Discombe on 14 August 2001 and last updated by Benoit Sharp on 12 January 2024