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Calvin Passphrase

Calvin Information Technology

A strong password is the key to ensuring the security and confidentiality of your information. Your Calvin Passphrase is encouraged to be more than a simple word, in order to ensure Calvin College information is protected and remains secure. Learn more about your responsibilies to protect information.


 


What is a Passphrase and why do I need it?
Passphrase Requirements
How do I change my Passphrase?
Why "passphrase"?
How can I choose a secure Passphrase?
How often do I have to reset my Passphrase?
What does my Passphrase access?



What is a Passphrase and why do I need it?

Passphrases and passwords are the key to ensuring the security and confidentiality of information. Your Calvin Passphrase must meet Calvin Passphrase Requirements. The longer and more complex the passphrase, the more secure it is.

It is your responsibility as a user of Calvin technology to make sure that all your accounts are as secure as possible. That includes creating a secure secret question with an answer only you know. If you do not know the answer to your secret question, you can update your secret question and answer.

If at any time you think your passphrase has been compromised, you should change it immediately and notify the HelpDesk.

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Passphrase Requirements

  • current or previously used passphrases may never be reused
  • must be 15-30 characters long
  • must use characters from two or more of the following character sets:
    • Lowercase letters
    • Uppercase letters
    • Numbers
    • Symbols, Punctuation, or Spaces (some systems may not accept a passphrase with a comma)
  • must include at least 4 different characters
  • must not start or end with a space
  • must not repeat the same character 3 times sequentially
  • will expire in 365 days (some systems require a 90 day expiration)
    • you will receive an e-mail before your passphrase expires so you have time to change it.

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How do I change my Passphrase?

If your passphrase has not expired and would like to change your passphrase, use the Change Passphrase link.

If your passphrase has expired, use the Expired Passphrase link.

If you have forgotten your passphrase, use the Forgot Passphrase link.

If you have not yet set up your account as a new student, use the link to set up a new account.

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Why "passphrase"?

You are probably very familiar with using passwords. A password is typically a short sequence of letters, numbers and symbols you use to verify your identity to a system. A password is typically 5 to 11 characters, whereas a passphrase is more than 15 characters in length. A passphrase allows you to create a phrase that is easier to remember than a short, cryptic password but is greater in length which makes the passphrase more secure. The longer the passphrase, the harder it is for someone to compromise the account.

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How can I choose a secure Passphrase?

A passphrase is an easy to remember phrase that may include words, numbers, spaces, and symbols.

When selecting a passphrase, think of words that you can put together that make sense to you but would be difficult for someone else to figure out. You should avoid using information about yourself that would be easy to figure out, such as your full name, address, username, email address, company name, or birthday. The passphrase you choose should also be significantly different from previous passwords or passphrases.

A passphrase might meet all of the Passphrase Requirements and still not be a strong passphrase. For example, mynameisJohnCalvin might meet the requirements, but is still weak. Choosing instead to use something like My name 1s j0hn Cal7in! is a stronger alternative because it replaces some letters with numbers and also includes a special character and spaces.

Help yourself remember your strong password or passphrase by following these tips:

  • Create an acronym from an easy-to-remember piece of information then expand it. For example, pick a phrase that is meaningful to you, such as My son's birthday is December 12, 2004. Using that phrase as your guide, you might use MisoBdi12/Dec04 for your passphrase.

  • Substitute numbers, symbols, and misspellings for letters or words in an easy-to-remember phrase. For example, My son's birthday is December 12, 2004 could become Mi$un's Brthd8iz 12124, which would make a good passphrase.

  • Relate your password or passphrase to a favorite hobby. For example, I love to play badminton could become ILuv2PlayB@dm1nt()n.

If you feel you must write down your password or passphrase to remember it, make sure you do not label it as such and keep it in a safe place, not on a note stuck to your computer keyboard. If you decide to save your passwords in a file on your computer, create a unique name for the file so people don't know what's inside. Avoid giving the file an obvious name such as my passwords. If you have a difficult time remember multiple passwords, a trusted password manager such as LastPass, 1Password, Dashlane, or KeePas may be a good solution.

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How often do I have to reset my Passphrase?

Your passphrase will expire every 365 days (certain systems require a 90 day passphrase expiration for compliance). You will receive multiple warnings via email starting 30 days from expiration. If your passphrase expires, you are still able to change it using the expired passphrase link.

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What does my Passphrase access?

Your Calvin Passphrase will access most Calvin services inlcuding the Calvin portal, moodle, eduroam wireless, Office 365, Colleague, Calvin Google Apps, as well as providing access to on-campus computers and server-based file storage.

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