Change your password

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.

Once you receive the initial password from UWE Bristol, you must:

  1. read the guidance below to ensure you always use secure passwords.
  2. set up your security profile, which will also enable multi-factor authentication (MFA).
  3. change the initial password.

Once you set up your security profile, you can use it at any time to change your password, update your security information and add additional authentication methods.

MFA adds an additional layer of security to your account and will be required when you log in to Office 365 apps (which includes your UWE Bristol email account).

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

Secure passwords

Make passwords difficult to guess by:

  • using a unique password for every account
  • using the three random four-letter words technique below
  • never share your password with anyone for any reason
  • using a password manager to store and suggest passwords
  • mixing upper and lower case letters, along with numbers (0-9) and special characters (%^!#)
  • using a minimum of 12 characters in length - always remember, longer is stronger.

Three random words

A good way to create a strong and memorable password is to use three random words, with each word being a minimum of four letters. Numbers (0-9) and symbols (%^!#) can still be used.
For example: 3purple_house_monkeys27!

Be creative and use words memorable to you, so that people can't guess your password. Your social media accounts can give away vital clues about yourself, so don't use words such as a family members name or favourite sports team which are easy for people to guess.

Cybercriminals are very smart and know many of the simple substitutions we use such as 'Pa55word!' which utilises symbols to replace letters.

Password managers

With a password manager, you only need to remember one strong master passphrase that protects all of your credentials in a secure vault.

Many 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.

You will also find that most password managers support multi-factor authentication (MFA), making access to your password manager even more secure.

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 passphrase, IT Services will not be able to restore it.

Security profile

Once set up, you can use your security profile to:

  • change your password
  • update your security information
  • add additional authentication methods (MFA).

Information Security Toolkit

UWE Bristol IT systems are safe and secure, but you need to do your bit too!

The toolkit provides top tips and advice to help safeguard you, others and the University against cyber threats.