Treat your password like your toothbrush - never share it and change it often
June 26, 2014
Your Western User ID and password provide you access to many of the resources you use at Western. If someone else has your Western password, then they have your Western Identity. This means they can access your e-mail, files, pay information, or grades.
Consider the following:
Passwords are often obtained without the knowledge of the victim, and phished or stolen passwords often are not used immediately. They are collected, sold to organized crime and can be left unused for some time. Even if you're not aware your password was compromised, if you change it periodically you may change it before a thief has an opportunity to use it.
It is possible for hackers to guess your password through sheer persistent efforts. With current technology, this can take months if you have a strong password. If you change your password frequently, any brute force attack that takes longer is ineffective.
You should change your password immediately if you have any reason to believe that someone else has access to it or you suspect your Western account has been compromised.
If you have not changed your Western password in many years, chances are it does not adhere to our existing more complex password requirements that are harder to guess. This policy includes the user of a mix of upper and lower case letters as well as numbers and symbols.
Use a different password for your Western Identity than you use for other accounts you own (personal email, banking, etc). This way, if one of your passwords is compromised this limits the access the thief has to your accounts.
Keep your password secret. Do not share it, do not write it down. If you need help storing your passwords look to available tools like Password Safe to securely store them.
Remember, official email communication from ITS will never ask you for your password or other personal information.
Change your password frequently – at least every 6 months.
For further details about your Western Identity and instructions on how to change your password, please visit: