Information Services Division


MyAccount FAQs

This page contains information about the MyAccount service.

What is MyAccount?

MyAccount is the service for managing your UCL password. We ask you to:

  • register your mobile phone which allows you to securely reset your password without having to contact ISD IT Services. 
  • set a password (up to 30 characters). The stronger your password the longer you can keep it.
  • Check the strength of your password. The password strength meter will show you if your password is acceptable before you submit it.

The use of mobile phones to help users recover passwords is common practice for the likes of Google, Yahoo and Microsoft so many users will be familiar with this approach.

How do I register for the service?

When you first log into MyAccount you will be asked to register your mobile phone number. This is a one-off exercise, though of course you can change your phone number if you need to.

By registering your phone number, you can easily reset your password if you forget it by requesting a password reset code that will be sent to you.

Why do I need to register my phone number?

If you forget your password, you can request that a password reset code is sent to your registered phone.

You'll be asked to register a phone number the first time you use MyAccount.

Text message reset codes are more secure as they are only visible to you. This is more secure than previous systems where password tokens were created manually.

If you do not have a mobile phone, please contact the IT Services.

Who will I receive text messages from?

MyAccount uses a text messaging service, so messages will not appear to come from a UCL phone number.

If you have a UK mobile phone number (international dialling code 44), you will receive texts from "UCLISD".

If you register a US mobile phone number, the SMS message will come from a US number ending 05184

If you register another international mobile phone number, the SMS message will come from a UK number ending 55439.

Note: the full number is not published here, to prevent it being misused. If you wish to verify the number, contact the ISD IT Services.

MyAccount only sends text messages for registering your phone and for sending password reset codes. You will not receive other messages from this ID/number. Details stored in MyAccount are not used for any other purpose and are not made available to other UCL systems.

How do I set a strong password?

MyAccount allows you to set passwords with a minimum of 10 characters and a maximum of 30 characters. The stronger your password the longer you can keep it – up to one year.

Please note that your password must be at least of 'Medium' strength. 'Weak' password strengths are not accepted.

One simple trick to pick a new password is to take 3 words and join them together with a number and a symbol (from the acceptable characters list). Although this will be more characters to type each time, using linked words should be both easier to remember and quicker to type.

How will my phone number be used?

If you're worried about registering your mobile phone, hopefully we can reassure you.

When you register your number it is encrypted and stored in the MyAccount database.

Your phone number is not visible to any staff (not even the system administrators) and cannot be accessed by any other system. Phone details are stored separately from other account information and your registered number is not displayed in full within the application. Even if someone has your password and can access your account, they will not be able to retrieve your phone number from MyAccount.

Your number will not be used for any purpose other than sending you phone registration or password reset codes. You will certainly not receive unsolicited calls from ISD staff to your mobile number once you've registered with the system.

We have specifically chosen not to import mobile phone details that may be stored elsewhere at UCL (for example in the Student Records or HR systems) in order to allow you to register your current number, not one that's possibly out of date.

Remember: ISD staff will never ask you to tell them your password and you should never tell your password to anyone else.

Can Computer Reps reset passwords?

Computer reps are not able to reset passwords, but they can submit mobile phone details on behalf of their users by using the form on the IT Services portal.

IT Services may require the Computer Reps help verifying a user’s identity.

If you have any comments or questions about how MyAccount affects your role as a Computer Rep, contact the ISD IT Services.

What is reCAPTCHA?

reCAPTCHA has been added to increase the security of the MyAccount system. It uses cookies to determine if what is accessing the web page is a human or a bot. It may prompt you to select objects from a selection of pictures after you enter your password.

reCAPTCHA collects person information from users to make this determination of whether they are human and not a bot. The reCAPTCHA algorithm checks to see if there is a Google cookie placed on the computer being used. An additional reCAPTCHA-specific cookie will then be added to the user’s browser allowing a complete snapshot of the user’s browser window at that moment in time.

Information gathered includes:

  • All cookies placed by Google over the last 6 months
  • How many mouse clicks you’ve made on that screen (or touches on a touch device)
  • The CSS information for that page
  • The date
  • The language your browser is set to
  • Any plugins you have installed on the browser
  • All Javascript objects.

You can read Google’s terms and privacy policy for more information.

How do I get help?

One of the most common problems with MyAccount are issues with information stored in the browser cache or cookies. The easiest way to overcome this is to open a new window in your browser in private/incognito mode. To do this - 

On Windows:

• In Google Chrome (recommended) and Microsoft Edge press keys: cntr + shift + N

• In Firefox press keys: cntr + shift + P

On Mac:

• In Google Chrome (recommended) and Safari press keys: shift + command + N

• In Firefox press keys: shift + command + P

Then within the private/incognito window navigate to https://www.myaccount.ucl.ac.uk/ (you can copy this link and paste in browser window) and then select the MyAccount option as required.

If the above did not resolve your issue and you still require assistance with MyAccount, or have any comments or suggestions, contact the ISD IT Services

Please make clear that your issue or comment is with MyAccount so that we can provide an appropriate answer.