About Passwords

Every campus user is issued a Syracuse University NetID. During initial account activation, users create their first password and are required to change it at least once a year. Passwords are intended to help prevent unauthorized access to your account and may not be shared. To keep the account secure from unauthorized access, the account owner must keep the password secret, change the password often, and report to ITS if anyone is using the account without permission.

Acceptable Use Policy

For more information about policies governing the use of computer accounts at Syracuse University, please refer to the Information Technology Resources Acceptable Use Policy.

On This Page

Changing Your Password

To manage your campus password, please visit the NetID self-service page. Changing or managing your password will require your NetID and your current NetID password. 

If you forget your NetID password, you may use the online account system to reset it. In order to reset your password, you will need your NetID username, SUID, and access to a previously configured remediation mobile phone or alternate email address. Users who are unable to manage their account using the self-service page must contact the ITS Help Desk by phone at 315-443-2677 or in-person at 1-227 Center for Science and Technology (hours of operation). Note that the Help Desk is unable to change account information, including passwords, via email. 

Developing Strong Passwords

Passwords are like passports or blank checks: if lost or stolen they give hackers a world of opportunity to access your personal, financial and work information. Make strong passwords for your accounts to keep your personal information safe.

When creating a new password, keep in mind some of the ways in which your password could be vulnerable. One way is by people simply "guessing" your password based on things they know about you. Another way is through password cracking software.

The Syracuse University password requirements help you create passwords that increase the level of difficulty and the time needed for someone to determine your password. 

Passwords Should:

  • Be differ from passwords you have used before
  • Be 8-16 characters (recommend as many as you can remember)
  • Include at least one number, letter (both upper and lower case), and special character (from this list: ` ! # $ & * ( ) - _ = \ | [ ] ' ; : / ? . ,)
  • Include at least 4 characters are different

Passwords Should Not:

  • Contain your NetID
  • Include any word or acronym found in any language spelled either forward or backward
  • Include numbers that reference dates, phone numbers, Social Security numbers, etc.
  • Be made up words or nicknames someone might associate with you
  • Have repeating characters
  • Be the same as passwords for other accounts

Vanity Passwords

Using a combinations of references only you the user would know, 'vanity passwords' can help create strong passwords that may be easier for users to memorize.

Example: Choose your favorite movie or song lyric or short phrase and translate it to something easy to memorize like

“Let’s stay together”- lt$A2Gtr.

  • Use various versions of it for different accounts like [Movie in Caps] + [Last Digit of Current Year] + [Special Character] + [Site Type in Small Case]

               [Gone with the Wind] + [2012] + [Asterisk] + [Amazon]

               And the password becomes: GWTW2*az

Passwords DO's and DON'T's

Do Your Part...Don't Be a Security Risk!


  • Follow suggested rules for creating strong passwords
  • Don't use the same password as used on other sites
  • Make your password as long as you feel comfortable where allowed
  • Always use numbers, upper and lower case letters, and special characters where possible
  • Memorize your password or store it in secure password management software 
  • Change your password regularly
  • Use a password protected screen saver
  • Use care when entering your password in front of others
  • Set a good security example for others
  • Immediately change your password if you suspect it may have been compromised
  • Report any potential security breach
  • Log out whenever you are away from your desk or finished for the day


  • Share your password with anyone
  • Login to allow others to use your access
  • Use anyone else's access
  • Allow unauthorized access to your computer through peer-to-peer sharing
  • Think a security breach can't happen to you

Need Help? If you have trouble creating or managing your passwords, or just need assistance, contact the ITS Help Desk by phone at 315-443-2677, by email at help@syr.edu, or by stopping into 1-227 Center for Science and Technology (hours of operation). 

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