Passwords

All UWE Bristol students and staff are issued with a username and password to access University systems (e.g. email, myUWE, and Blackboard).

A unique and strong password reduces the risk of data breaches and protects you from many threats such as identity theft. One of the most common ways that hackers break into computers is by guessing passwords.

The University will never email or call you to confirm your username and password.

Do

  • Change your password immediately, using Password Manager:
    • If you suspect a data breach.
    • If you suspect it has been compromised.
    • When you first receive it.
  • Make passwords difficult to guess: 
    • Keep your passwords unique.
    • Use a passphrase (see below for more information on how to create passphrases).
    • Mix upper and lower case letters, along with numbers and special characters (e.g. %^!#).
    • Use a minimum of eight characters - more is better.

Don't

  • Share passwords with anyone.
  • Write passwords on a note or store them where they can be accessed by others.
  • Make passwords using personal information, such as your name or family names.
  • Just capitalise the first character or only add a number to the end; this is well known to hackers and they test for it.

Who should I contact if I'm not sure?

Need help remembering?

Adopt a passphrase

Passphrases can be more secure and easier to remember, because they are based on memorable words only you know.

Explore using two words separated by a number or a punctuation character, such as:

  • 'Pr0%F0otb@ll'

or

  • 'F@5t#F00d'

You can use a combination of insert and replace, for example:

  • 'clockwork'

could be

  • '(l0(kwoRkS’

Please note: The passwords above are examples and must not be used as your password.

Use a password manager

It can be difficult to maintain many strong and unique passwords and this is where a credentials (username and password) manager can help. You only need to remember one strong master passphrase that protects all of your credentials in a secure vault. Many will provide useful features that make your online life easier while being more secure, such as automatically entering your credentials and generating new strong passwords for you.

The University does not support a single product, however, there are several free and paid-for tools such as KeePass, LastPass, and 1Password.

Caution: If you choose to download a password manager and forget the master password, IT Services will not be able to restore it

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