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What is your institution using as the initial password and by what means is that effectively communicated to students so that they are able to logon to their network/email accounts?

We are in the process of revisiting this to ensure that 100% of students should be able to know what their initial credentials are, and at the same time keep the initial password secure and confidential enough to prevent the account from being hijacked.

Trent Carroll

  Interim ITS Director and Manager, Networking & Servers

  Houston Baptist University



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We use an 8 character password made up of randomly generated letters and numbers.  We avoid the use of L’s, 1’s, O’s and o’s to avoid potential confusion.  We also use an algorithm to remove combinations of letters that might seem vulgar.  There is also a mix of UPPER and lower case in there.  The credentials (both username and password) are mailed (paper mail) to all new students with a welcome letter in their acceptance packets.  They are directed to our web portal where they are required to electronically sign a usage agreement, then they are forced to answer five “forgotten password” questions that can be used in the future to reset their password if they have forgotten it.  Since the portal is single sign-on to all our applications, this works great, since they have to know only one username and password.  The password is stored in encrypted format in an LDAP environment.


Dennis Thibeault

CIO, Curry College