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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.

Your first password

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.

Choosing a new password

Here are some basic rules to be followed when choosing a new password:

  • It can consist of letters, digits, and many of the other characters that you can type on your keyboard. However, we recommend that you avoid characters such as '<', '>', '&' ';' and similarly 'unusual' characters, because these have been known to cause problems if used to login to some university systems.
  • It can contain upper and lower case letters - these are not interchangeable (in other words, uppercase A-Z are treated differently to lowercase a-z).
  • It must be 10 or more characters long.
  • It must contain at least one letter and at least one character that is not a letter (for guidance see FAQ 839)

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.

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Changing your password

You can normally change your password in Sussex Direct - see our web page for details:

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Lost passwords and disabled accounts

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 Desk in Shawcross 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.

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created on 2010-01-01 by Chris Limb
last updated on 2023-03-22 by Benoit Sharp