Password Security

Your Notre Dame account unlocks a wide range of applications and systems that provide access to research data, intellectual property, and personal/confidential information. Keeping your password secure is the first line of defence in preventing unwanted access to your account.

Secure Password Practices

One of the most important precautions you can take in protecting you and your information is setting a strong password to your account. Weak passwords are easily compromised, leaving you vulnerable to hackers and fraudulent use of your personal information.

Keep your personal and sensitive data safe through secure practices.

  • Meet password requirements of the university
  • Use unique passwords or passphrases
  • Change your password frequently
  • Use a password checker to create a complex password

TIP: Use a password checker to see if your password is complex and robust or requires something extra.
Test your password at

Password Requirements

Your password must adhere to the following security requirements:

  • Must be at least 7 characters in length
  • Must contain a capital letter, lowercase letters and a number e.g. (1,2,3,4,5 etc.)
  • Cannot contain your first name, last name or ID number
  • Can contain symbols/characters if you wish to strengthen your password. e.g. (!@#$%^&*_+)

You also cannot use the last 24 previously set passwords on your account. It is encouraged not to change the number or symbol to the next increment when your password expires.

Video: Learn tips & tricks about setting a strong password to protect your account against unwanted access.

Passphrase or Password?

Why should I use a Passphrase? Is it not the same as a Password?
A password is easy to crack as it is created using a common word, number, and symbol not generally more than 10 characters long. A passphrase is harder to crack; it is longer than 14 characters and contains different practices such as full stops, spaces, and sayings that are not grammatically correct.

Creating your Passphrase

Passphrases can be created using the following information.

  • Over 14 characters (some passphrases cannot be more than 100 characters)
  • Adding underscores between words
  • Using random words and phrases
Location You can use a town, city, country or state. A place that holds meaning to you is easy to remember. Niagara Falls
Yellowstone National Park
Ideas/Goals Set a goal and use a passphrase to achieve it. New York City 2020
Be a world traveller
Movies Use your favourite film, TV series, book or author to set a passphrase. Terminator 2
Lord of the Rings
Sayings/Quotes Turn something you say out loud into a passphrase. Even if someone knows the saying, they won’t know the spelling. Keep Smiling
Each to his own

Keep Your Password Secure

Try to avoid the following practices as they leave you vulnerable to others accessing your account:

  • Writing down your password
  • Sending your password over email
  • Using similar passwords for multiple accounts
  • Sharing your password or personal information with others
  • Saving passwords in web browsers

Report an Issue

Reporting incidents goes a long way to protect university data, users identities and may significantly reduce the potential for damage to the universities staff and students. If you think your password has been compromised, it is encouraged to change it as soon as possible.

If you suspect your university account or password may have been compromised, please contact your IT Service Desk.

Back to IT@ND: CyberSecurity