Passwords

Overview

Your University Computing Account password is your key to accessing computing resources at Pitt. Never share your password with anyone---for any reason.

All University students, faculty, and staff are required to change their University Computing Account password twice per year at My Pitt (my.pitt.edu).

This important requirement enhances security and helps protect your data. It is one part of a larger, layered security strategy that combines multiple security measures to protect against hackers, phishing scams, malicious software, and myriad other threats to the University's computing environment.

Here is how the process works. You will be required to change your University Computing Account password at least once every 180 days. As you approach the 180 day limit for your current password, you will see a yellow notification box each time you log in to My Pitt that indicates how many days you have remaining to change your password. Click the link in the notice and complete the steps in the password wizard to change your password.

Password change notification message

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Why am I required to change my password?

Your University Computing Account gives you access to many computing services at Pitt, including email, My Pitt, and CourseWeb. These systems may contain personal and sensitive information about you. Increasingly, malicious software and other methods such as "phishing" are being used to try to obtain your password. If someone acquires your password, they will gain unauthorized access to your computing account and University resources. Periodic password changes will help to safeguard your account.

How does the password change wizard work?

When you click the link in the yellow notification box, you will be asked to complete the following steps.

  1. Review your Emergency Notification Service (ENS) contact details and modify them if necessary.
  2. Review and, if necessary, modify your emergency contact information (students only)
  3. Review three security questions you can use to reset your password online if you forget it. (If you have never set your security questions, you will be required to do so before proceeding.)
  4. Change your password

Do I have to wait for the notification message to display before I can change my password?

No. You can change your password at any time. Log in to My Pitt, click Profile, then Manage Your Account. On the Manage Your Account page, click Password Change and follow the instructions on the page to manage your password and security questions.

Keep in mind that if you change your password today, you can avoid seeing the notification message for another 180 days.

How do I pick a strong password?

The following requirements have been put in place to help you choose strong password:

  • Your new password must be eight to 14 characters long.
  • Your new password must consist of some combination of letters and numbers and must also contain at least one special character (for example, +, @, #, or $).
  • The following special characters can NOT be used: _ ` < > & ! . ,
  • You cannot use your name, username, or any portion of these as your password

In addition, keep in mind that passwords that contain only letters and dictionary words are easier for someone to guess or for computer programs to decipher. There are also limitations on the use of prior passwords.

Tips for creating a strong password (video) >

How can I keep track of my different passwords?

Try a password manager like KeePass. KeePass is a free software tool available through the Software Download Service at My Pitt. It enables you to put all of your passwords into one database and lock that database with one ‘master key'-a favorite phrase, for instance.

It's important to use different passwords for your digital accounts. Your University Computing Account password, online banking passwords, and social media passwords should all be different. With so many passwords, it can be easy to forget them or mix them up along the way. KeePass makes it simpler to keep track of which passwords you use for which accounts.

What happens if I do not change my password before it expires?

If you do not change your password before that password expires, then the only thing you will see when you log in to My Pitt is the password change wizard. As soon as you change your password, you will be able to use My Pitt normally again.

I'm having difficulty connecting to my email and to the network from my mobile phone after changing my password. What should I do?

It is possible that your phone has stored your previous password locally. You will need to update the old password that is stored on your phone so that it matches your new University Computing Account password.

I'm having difficulty connecting to Wireless PittNet after changing my password. What should I do?

If you have difficulty connecting to Wireless PittNet after changing your password, please connect to SETUP-PITT-WIFI and run the automated configuration wizard. This will resolve the problem.

Will people with sponsored accounts be required to change their password every 180 days?

Yes. Anyone with a sponsored account will also be required to change his or her password at My Pitt every 180 days. Those with sponsored accounts will not be prompted to enter ENS information during the password change wizard.

It is strongly suggested that you change your password as soon as you receive your University Computing Account. You can do this at My Pitt (my.pitt.edu).

Log in to My Pitt, click Profile, then click Manage Your Account. On the Manage Your Account page, click the Password Change link and follow the instructions to manage your password and security questions.

Your new password:

  • Must be between eight and fourteen characters long
  • Should consist of some combination of letters and numbers, and must include at least one special character (for example, +, @, #, or $)
  • Cannot include the following characters: _ ' < > & ! . ,
  • Should not use your name, your username, or a portion of these.
  • Should never be shared with anyone for any reason
  • Please note that there are limitations on use of prior passwords.
  • Please keep in mind passwords that use only letters and dictionary words are easier for someone to guess or for computer programs to decipher

Setting Your Security Questions

Setting Your Security Questions

If you haven't already done so, be sure to select the three security questions and answers that will be used to confirm your identity in the event you forget your password. Once you have set your security questions, you do not need to change them the next time that you change your password.

Required Password Changes for Students 

Note: To enhance security and protect data, students will be required to change their University Computing Account password twice per year at My Pitt (my.pitt.edu). A prompt will appear on My Pitt when it is time for you to change your password.

If you have difficulty connecting to Wireless PittNet after changing your password, please connect to SETUP-PITT-WIFI and run the automated configuration wizard. This will resolve the problem.

Reset Your Password if You Forget It

Reset Your Password if You Forget It

There are several ways you can reset your password if you forget it.

  1. Reset your password online. Open a Web browser to My Pitt (my.pitt.edu) and click the Forgot Password? link. Then follow the steps in the wizard to reset your password.
    Note: If you haven't already set your password security questions, you will need to use one of the methods below.
  2. Contact the Technology Help Desk by submitting an online request or calling 412 624-HELP [4357]. The Help Desk will ask specific questions to confirm your identity and will give you a new password over the phone only if you can answer these questions.
  3. Pittsburgh campus only: Stop at a campus computing lab with your ID. The lab consultant will verify your identity and call the Help Desk, which will give you a new password over the phone.

If these methods will not work, call the Technology Help Desk at 412 624-HELP [4357] for instructions.

Important Notes about Resetting Your Password

Important Notes about Resetting Your Password

  • If you call the Technology Help Desk, then your password will only be given to you by phone. It will not be sent by any electronic means (for example, email, instant message, or text message).
  • After your password has been reset, you should immediately change it. Log in to My Pitt (my.pitt.edu) using your University Computing Account username and the password. Once logged in to My Pitt, click Profile, then Manage Your Account. On the Manage Your Account page, click Password Change and follow the instructions on the page to manage your password and security questions. You will be prompted to select and answer three password security questions that will enable you to reset your password online.

Resetting Passwords for Sponsored Accounts

Resetting Passwords for Sponsored Accounts

If you have a sponsored account, you must ask your Responsibility Center Account Administrator or the account sponsor to contact the Technology Help Desk on your behalf. The Help Desk will ask specific questions to verify the identity of the Responsibility Center Account Administrator or account sponsor and will provide a new password to them over the phone. The Responsibility Center Account Administrator or account sponsor will then distribute the new password to you.

Tags: Account Password