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FAQ: main UCL userids & passwords

Can I choose my main UCL userid?

No, these are allocated automatically and cannot be changed 

Why do I have to change my main UCL password every 4 months?

Computer hackers use a freely available password cracking program to attempt to break into computer systems, and new versions of this program are constantly being developed. Regularly resetting passwords makes this type of attack less attractive & prevents compromised passwords being used for too long.

Why is it so hard to choose an acceptable password?

Choosing a password that can't easily be cracked is getting harder! That's why you cannot use anything based on a dictionary word - in any language. A simple but effective approach is to use a mnemonic phrase. Think of a memorable sentence, of seven or eight words, then form a password by taking one or more characters from each word, including a mixture of capitals and punctuation.

Why does it matter if my password isn't secure?

If someone else gains access to your userid, they may delete your files, use it to hack other systems, download pornography, or forge e-mail purporting to come from you. 

It's also important to think of the other people who use the system. Even if you don't keep sensitive information in your account, others do. Allowing unauthorised access via your account may compromise the security of their information. And some kinds of attack are only possible if you already have basic access to the system - so guard your password carefully, and if you think someone else knows it, tell the Service Desk and change it immediately. 

Information for ADS users