Information Technology Blog

On Why We Need To Change Passwords

July 30, 2013

The University of Nevada, Reno asks that students, faculty and staff change their NetID passwords every year.  NetID passwords expire and require changing every year for security reasons.  Passwords provide important protection to accounts, but can also be a source of vulnerability to cyber threats.  The password-change policy ensures that computer security is maintained on a regular basis.

You should change your password if you notice a threat to your account, such as unusual account activity.  Sometimes though, account threats aren’t noticeable.  If someone gained access to your account login information, that person could monitor your computer activity, and you wouldn’t know.  Using your NetID username and password a person could look at your personal information, such as financial information and home address, through MyNEVADA.  A threat to your account might not be noticeable right away.  So, even if your account seems secure, changing your password regularly helps protect against threats.

You can take some steps to keep your password safe:

  • Keep your password secret, and don’t share it with friends, family or coworkers. It’s against NSHE Policy to share your NetID password with anyone.  It’s best not to write your password down either, because the information could be discovered by an unwanted person.
  • Use a different password for each account you have.  Using the same password for multiple accounts increases your vulnerability to hacking.  E.g. say you used the same password for an internet forum and for your NetID login.  A hacker could easily figure out your low security forum password, then use that password to access your more secure NetID account.
  • Make your passwords as long as possible.  The longer a password is the more difficult it is to discover using password hacking programs.  Try using phrases or sentences instead of just single words.  For example, instead of using the short password “S0cc3r”, you could use the longer password “M4nChesterUnitedIsTheB3sT”.

There is information on the main IT website about how to change your NetID password.

 

NetID, Security