Tips for creating secure passphrases

Logins and passwordsLogins and passphrases

If you know your current NetLink ID passphrase, you can change your passphrase by visiting and clicking on the "Change your Passphrase now" link.

Before you begin

With all the devices we now use, when you change your passphrase, some devices may continue trying to use your old passphrase which (after several attempts) can cause your account to be locked for 15 minutes.  To reduce the impact of this:

  1. Before changing your NetLink passphrase, turn off all mobile devices that may be connecting to the UVic wireless or UVic email.
  2. Close your UVic email client.
  3. If your account does get locked, please wait 15 minutes before attempting to access it again.

Tips for creating a secure passphrase

When selecting your passphrase, please keep the following in mind:
  1. Create a strong passphrase that is easy for you to remember, but tough for someone else to guess.
  2. You must choose a passphrase which is between 8 and 30 characters in length.
  3. Your passphrase must contain characters from at least two of the following groups: lowercase letters, uppercase letters, digits, or special characters $ _ #.
  4. Passphrases must not contain any of your personal information.
  5. Do not repeat any 3 characters in your passphrase - such as aaa or 111.
  6. Do not use sequential letters on the keyboard - such as -  qwerty.
  7. Easily guessed dictionary words - such as commonly known 'bad passwords' will not be permitted.

After you change your passphrase

  1. After you receive the passphrase success message, Sign out of UVic and close all browsers.
  2. If you are logged on to a UVic workstation that connects to the UVic domain, log off your workstation and log back in with the new passphrase.
  3. If you using a mobile device connected to UVic wireless, disconnect from the wireless and reconnect with your new passphrase.
  4. Update your email client passphrase on your personal computer.
  5. Update your passphrase on mobile devices for email and wireless.

For UVic Windows laptop users who are away from campus

You may need to take the following steps to update your passphrase on your encrypted laptop:

  1. Log into your laptop with your OLD passphrase.
  2. Connect to the UVIC VPN using your NEW passphrase.
  3. Lock your computer using the Windows key + L.
  4. Unlock your computer using your NEW passphrase.

The passphrase change may take up to 30 minutes to reach all of our systems, if you are experiencing issues reconnecting to any services at UVIC after this time, please contact the Computer Help Desk.

Frequently asked questions

How can I best prepare to change my passphrase?

My passphrase is less than 8 characters, do I have to change it?

A: The Information and Security Office recommends you change your passphrase on a regular basis.  When you set a new passphrase, it must be between 8 and 30 characters in length.

Which special characters are acceptable in the new passphrase rules?

A: Netlink passphrases must contain characters from at least two of the following groups:  lowercase letters, uppercase letters, digits or special characters$_#

Am I going to be forced to change my passphrase?

A: The Information and Security Office recommends you change your passphrase on a regular basis.  Read more on how to secure your Netlink Id.