What are the rules and requirements for creating and using passwords and passphrases at Virginia Tech?
VT Username (PID) Passphrase Information and Requirements
For more information on the length and character requirements and strategies for creating one, see Changes to Password Requirements.
Password Rules and Requirements
Changing Your Password(s)
Virginia Tech requires annual changes of VT Username (PID) passphrases and Hokies ID passwords as part of a strategy to ensure password strength and reduce password compromise.
Passwords that Must Be Changed Annually
- All VT Username passwords
- All Hokies ID passwords, including sponsored accounts
- Voicemail passwords for Avaya telephones: 365 days after the password was set or last changed
For instructions on changing any of your passwords, see Changing or Resetting My Password.
Passwords that are created or changed are valid for up to 12 months before they need to be changed again. If you log on to a Virginia Tech service with an expired password, you will be prompted and required to change the expired password before you can access the service.
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Important: Never Send Your Password by Email
Virginia Tech will NEVER ask you to send your password via email. Do not respond to emails that ask for your user ID or password; such emails are phishing attempts.
General Tips for Creating Strong Passwords
- The longer the password is the stronger it may be.
- Try combining the first letters of each word in a phrase or song to produce the password. This produces a password that is random and still easy to remember.
- To help you remember all of your passwords, think of a standard password that meets all of the above requirements, and add a modifier that is distinct to each service to the beginning or end of the standard password.
- Try including the symbol(s) and number(s) not just at the end of a password. Try using a varying combination of lower and upper case letters in the password.
Don't Use These in Your Passwords
Cyber criminals know all of these tricks. They even use automated programs to guess passwords based on the following items:
- An alphabetic series either forwards or backwards such as "ABCDEF" or "FEDCBA"
- A numeric series, either forwards or backwards such as "123456" or "654321"
- A string of identical letters or numbers such as "AAAAAA" or "111111"
- A sequence of letters on the keyboard such as "ASDFG" or "QWERTY"
- Your name or user name, or any variation thereof, such as your name or user name spelled backwards, with mixed case letters
- A word(s) that can be easily associated with you, such as the name of your spouse, child, pet, favorite football team, or literary character
- A common word that you might find in a dictionary
Keep Your Strong Password Secure
Passwords are an important part of daily activity and computer security. Cyber criminals spend a lot of time trying to guess passwords. Maintaining strong passwords and changing passwords on a regular basis can help protect Virginia Tech’s systems and information.
- Use different passwords on each account.
- Change your passwords at regular intervals.
- Never write your passwords down.
- Never share your password with others.
- Never send your password via email.
- Never reply to any email that requests your password or other personal information; delete the email.