Password Guidelines
Posted by , Last modified by Melinda Barnsley on 22 January 2019 04:56 PM

Passwords are an important aspect of computer security. They are the front line of protection for your user accounts. A poorly chosen password may result in the compromise of Plymouth State University’s system resources. As such, all members of the Plymouth State University community (including contractors and vendors with access to Plymouth State University systems) are responsible for taking the appropriate steps to select and secure their passwords. All passwords should be treated as sensitive, confidential Plymouth State University information. If an account or password is suspected to have been compromised, change your password right away and report the incident to ITS Help Desk at (603)535-2929 or email at immediately. See Plymouth State University's User Credentials Policy for further information.


The Current Password is the password that was just typed in (it may be the default password). The New Password must be between 8 and 16 characters, inclusive, and contain at least one uppercase character, one lowercase character, and one numeric character. They may not contain any of the following characters: @ # ` $ & ( ) = { } | \ : ; " < > , ? / or a space.

Forget your Password?

See How to Self-Reset your Password

Employee Password Change

Pursuant to Plymouth State University's User Credentials Policy, employees must change their myPlymouth password every 180 days. After having the same password for 160 days, upon logging in to myPlymouth, you will be reminded that you must change your password soon. For example:


Creating Strong Passwords

Everyone should be aware of how to select strong passwords. Strong passwords have the following characteristics:

  • Contain at least one numerical digit, and an upper and lower case characters (e.g.0-9, a-z, A-Z)
  • Have punctuation characters as well as digits and letters e.g. ! ~ % ^ + * - . _ [ ] '
  • Plymouth State University passwords cannot contain any of the following characters: @ # ` $ & ( ) = { } | \ : ; " < > , ? / or a space.
  • Must be between 8 and 16 alphanumeric characters long and is a passphrase. For example, the phrase might be: “This May Be One Way To Remember” and the password could be: “TmB1w2R!” or “Tmb1W>r~” or some other variation.
  • Are not a dictionary word in any language, slang, dialect, jargon, etc.
  • May not be an incremental change or increase from the current password (Agent007 to Agent008).
  • Are not based on personal information, names of family, etc.
  • Try to create passwords that can be easily remembered. One way to do this is create a password based on a song title, affirmation, or other phrase. For example, the phrase might be: “This May Be One Way To Remember” and the password could be: “TmB1w2R!” or “Tmb1W>r~” or some other variation.

See the US-CERT's Choosing and Protecting Passwords website for additional password advice.*

Finally, please practice the following strategies to keep your password secure:

  • Never reveal a password to ANYONE over the phone or in an email message
  • Never share a password with anyone, including family members, colleagues, administrative assistant or supervisors, even if going on vacation.
  • Do not use the same password for Plymouth State University accounts as for other non-Plymouth State University access (e.g., home email account, option trading, benefits, etc.)
  • Do not use the “Remember Password” feature of many applications (e.g., Office 365, OutLook, Firefox, etc.)
  • Never write passwords down and store them where they could be easily found in your office.
  • Never store passwords in a file on ANY computer system (including cell phones or similar devices) without encryption

* This link is provided for informational purposes only and does not represent an endorsement by or affiliation with the US-CERT (DHS).

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