Managing Your Passwords

Aurora University
Information Technology Services
Rev. NOV 2010


When you receive a computer account at AU you are assigned one or more passwords that you can use to access your accounts.  For an overview of the various accounts provided by AU, see AU Computer Accounts: An Overview . Taking care of your personal passwords is key to maintaining security on AU's computer systems, and creating good passwords and changing them regularly are highly recommended.  This document provides details on how to modify your various passwords and includes some suggestions on the creation of passwords.  If you need assistance with any of your passwords, or if you have forgotten your password or need help in resetting it, contact the Information Technology Services office.

What's a good password?

The best password is one that is easily remembered by you but difficult for anyone else to guess.   Automated password-guessing programs are available that enable intruders to crack poorly constructed password protection, so the risk is more than merely theoretical.  The best passwords are longer passwords with a combination of numbers and letters.

Here are some techniques for constructing a good password (some systems may apply their own password requirements):

  • Your password should not be any shorter than 6-8 characters.  Longer is better but make sure you can remember it.
  • Use mixed case characters and include non-alphabetic characters, preferably placed in the middle of the word.  Avoid easily guessed substitutions.
  • Combine two unrelated words and insert non-alphabetical characters between them ("fudge65rivet")

Changing your WebAdvisor/Moodle/E-mail password

Although WebAdvisor, moodle, and email are separate services at AU, these systems have been linked so that each account holder uses the same username and password for both. You can change your password at any time from the WebAdvisor environment by following these steps:

  1. Go to the AU home page at www.aurora.edu and click the WebAdvisor.
  2. Click the Log In link in the top right corner of the page.
  3. Log in using your current username and password.
  4. After logging in, click on the menu entry corresponding to your status (students, faculty, employees). On the next screen, under the menu section labeled User Account, click Change password. The following dialog box will appear:

    Change Password

  5. Enter your user name and then your choice for a new password twice. Note: WebAdvisor requires that your password be from 6 to 9 characters in length and contain both letters and numbers. The system will let you know if your password choice does not match the required standard.
  6. You may also want to enter a password hint as a way to help jog your memory later.
  7. Click Submit. Your new password is active immediately on WebAdvisor, Moodle, and email.

Changing your Novell password

The Novell system supports logins on the local area networks for faculty and staff at the various AU campuses, providing access to shared storage and printer services from staff offices, classrooms, and computer labs. Faculty and staff can use the following method to change their Novell passwords on Windows 2000 and Windows XP workstations:

  1. From your office computer, press <Ctrl>+<Alt>+<Delete> (press all three keys at the same time). The NetWare Security window will appear.
  2. Click the Change Password button in the lower left hand corner. This brings up the Novell Change Password window.
  3. In the left panel, under resources, you should see two icons. A "PC" icon representing your workstation and a "tree" icon representing your identity on the Novell system. Highlight both icons with left mouse button (click both while holding down the <Ctrl> key).
  4. In the right panel of this window, enter your old Novell password and then your new password twice. Click OK to submit the change and close all windows.