Students will soon be required to change passwords

Elias Albert, Staff Reporter

Eastern students will soon have to change their EIU passwords on a regular basis of no less than once per year.

The associated policy is called the ITS Authentication Policy and will consist of a notification that reminds students to change their passwords.

After the policy is fully implemented, students will be notified 20 days before their current password expires.

Freshman accounting major Andrew Bennett said he thinks that the policy requiring password changes can be beneficial to students and that he has no problem with it now being a requirement.

“I think changing your password every once in a while is a good idea,” Bennett said. “I think some students don’t do it too often because they see it as inconvenient and it’s not like they’ve been forced to.”

David Emmerich, manager of Eastern’s ITS, said this rule is in effect for all accounts associated with EIU’s digital network.

“Prior to the policy change, certain accounts were not required to change their password,” Emmerich said. “In an effort to align EIU with the best practices for information security, we decided to make the policy change.”

Emmerich said students should try to change their passwords as frequently as possible to keep their accounts as secure as they can.

“Students should change their password in order to prevent their accounts from being compromised by someone with malicious intent,” Emmerich said.

Usable passwords must be between 8 and 15 characters long, start with a letter, have both upper and lower case letters, have at least one number and one special character. Also, previously used passwords are not acceptable.

“I’d rather know that my information with the school is secure,” Bennett said. “If changing my password is a way to keep it secure, I’m fine with doing it.”

The existing policy also recommends that students try to avoid recognizable and associable names or phrases in their password. Students should also refrain from using birthdates in their passwords.

Emmerich said changing an Eastern password is simple and can even come with digital assistance.

“Students have access to our password management tool at,” Emmerich said. “

Emmerich also said students should be sure to apply the new password on their devices that may have had the old password saved.

Security questions are also an option to further secure their accounts and give students an option if they ever forget their passwords.

Any students who need assistance in changing their password can visit the ITS Help Desk at the Students Services Building, which is open for walk-ins or calls for most of the class day, or visit their website here.


Elias Albert can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]