4. Introduction to passwords

4.1. Passwords administered by IT Services

IT Services manages the passwords for the services listed below. Please note that each service is administered separately - changing one password will not change the others: See the separate sections below for help with the passwords for IT Services-administered services.

4.1.1. Password guidelines

Your password should be a mixture of different classes of character (lowercase letters a-z, uppercase letters A-Z, digits 0-9, and punctuation marks) and should not resemble a single word; Oxford account passwords must use at least three different character classes. You are recommended not to use the pound-sterling sign or accented characters - these can cause technical problems in some contexts.

Never include a password in an email message, even when contacting IT Services regarding a problem. Doing so puts your account at risk of misuse and we will change your password if you do this, protecting your account but causing you inconvenience and delay.

Passwords should be changed at least once a year and preferably more often. A good guideline is treat your password like your toothbrush - never share it, and change it frequently. It is essential to change your password promptly if you have any reason to think that someone else may know it.

Do not use the same password for different services, whether or not the username is the same.

See the IT Services password policy for advice on changing passwords and for other important recommendations regarding password security.

4.2. Passwords for services external to IT Services

IT Services does not administer the passwords for logging on to your college or departmental computer network and we do not have any access to this information. Contact your local IT Support Staff if you need help or advice regarding logging in to one of these local networks.

IT Services is also unable to help with passwords for Oracle Financials or passwords used in Libraries. For Oracle Financials, please see the Password Reset information on the Finance website. For Library systems, see Libraries web pages.

In general, you should follow the guidelines given for IT Services passwords, but non-IT Services systems may have differences of detail in their password rules.

For more about protecting yourself online please visit our Unwelcome to IT site.

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