Introduction

In order to comply with state and federal guidelines the University System of Florida A&M would like to remind all users that it is important that you protect your FAMMail and iRattler passwords and not share it with others. When used with your Directory ID, your Directory password provides students access to registration, financial information, grades, and course materials. For faculty and staff, the password is a gateway to your HR records and possibly sensitive information protected by your office. For all, the password prevents your email and files from being read by unauthorized persons and is used online to prove that you are you.

If you have set up your computer's Web browser or email program to remember your password, you will have to update that information when you change your password. We recommend that you do not use this feature as your password may become compromised if your computer is stolen or hacked.

Password Reset or Expiration

Your FAMMail passwords are valid for 90 days after it was assigned or last changed. If you allow your password to expire, you will be unable to access the many services that utilize the Directory password. Failure to change your password will result in you not being able to use your FAMNet account.

If your FAMMail password has expired you have two options:

  1. If you have a user profile set up go to the Password Reset Manager and follow the instructions there.
  2. If you do not have a user profile call the Help Desk at (850) 412-HELP(4357). The personnel at the Help Desk will assist you with setting up a user profile so you can reset your password.

If you have forgotten you FAMMail password you have two options:

  1. If you have a user profile set up go to the Password Reset Manager and follow the instructions there.
  2. If you do not have a user profile call the Help Desk at (850) 412-HELP(4357). The personnel at the Help Desk will assist you with setting up a user profile so you can reset your password.

If you forgot your iRattler password or it has expired you have two options:

  1. If you have a user profile set up go to the Password Reset Manager and follow the instructions there.
  2. Alternatively, you do not have a user profile call the Help Desk at (850) 412-HELP(4357). The personnel at the Help Desk will assist you with setting up a user profile so you can change your password.

Password Quality Checks

A password cannot provide protection if it can be guessed by unauthorized visitors. Potential attackers can also attempt to utilize every possible combination of characters in order to break a password. Password composition rules are chosen to ensure that the number of possible character combinations is large enough that such an attack cannot be accomplished in a reasonable period of time.

For Directory passwords, the following quality rules are applied:

  • A password must be at least 8 and no more than 16 characters in length.
  • A password must contain at least one uppercase letter.
  • A password must contain at least one lowercase letter.
  • A password must contain at least one character from the set of digits or punctuation characters (such as # @ $ & among others).
  • A password may not begin or end with the space character.
  • A password may not contain more than two consecutive identical characters.
  • A password may not be (or be a variation of ) a dictionary word in English or many other languages. This includes making simple substitutions of digits or punctuation that resemble alphabetic characters (such as replacing the letter S in a common word with the $ symbol).
  • You may not reuse a password you have already used.

Selecting Good Passwords

The password quality checks establish a minimally acceptable level of password quality. Increasing the length of your password beyond eight characters markedly increases the security of that password. No matter how complex your chosen password might be, it will not be a secure password if you write that password on a post-it note and keep that note where it might be discovered (the underside of the keyboard is not a secure location).

Take advantage of the fact that the space character is a valid choice (although not for the first or last character of the password) and create phrases or sentences. A longer sentence with punctuation and one or two deliberate typographic errors will be far easier to remember than eight random characters and (for many people) will be easier for you to type whenever you need to authenticate.

For additional tips on selecting good passwords, please see the How to Create a Good Password article from the Security Team and the Help Desk Team at Florida A&M Information Technology Services Department.

Email Warnings

You will receive email warnings as the expiration date for your password approaches. In order to assure you that messages from the Information Technology Services Department regarding your Directory passwords are legitimate, ITS follows several guidelines regarding these messages:

  • Messages will include your name and not a generic term, such as "user" or "customer."
  • Messages will not include active Web links (you should never click a link in an unsolicited email message). Legitimate messages will always refer you to the University’s Password Reset Manager

Questions

If you have any questions about this information, please contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at (850) 412-HELP(4357).

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Information Technology Services · 1610 S. Martin Luther King Jr., Blvd. · University Commons Room G126 · Tallahassee, FL 32307 · P: (850) 599-3560

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