About passwords at UCT
Passwords are used to secure staff, student and third party user accounts. This keeps critical research, financial and other data safe from unauthorised access. As a result, each and every member of the UCT community shares in the responsibility for keeping the network safe.
Aside from a few cases, UCT passwords don’t expire. You will retain the same network password until you decide to change it. However, if you have privileged access on some of the university’s critical systems, you are required to change your password every 90 days. All passwords must be kept secret and must not be given anyone else – not even to an ICTS staff member.
When choosing a password, please adhere to these requirements:
- Your password must be at least 16 characters long, with no spaces.
- Your password is not case sensitive.
- Your password can include a mix of letters, special characters and numbers.
- Your password cannot include text that is easy to guess – such as "123", "abc" or your UCT username.
- You cannot use a password that you have used in the past.
And because your password is critical for your access to ICT services:
- Do not share your password with anyone.
- Protect your password in the same way as you would your bank card PIN.
- Never allow other people access to your email or network account - because you are liable for any email sent using your email address.
- Do not use your UCT password for external websites and services. Doing so puts UCT at risk, because if those sites or services are hacked and your password is stolen, your UCT account – along with the network – can be compromised.
Manage your password
Use the Password Self-Service tool to manage your UCT network password. Changes are reflected instantly and you don’t need to contact IT support to change or reset your password.
If you forget your password, reset it using a one-time password (OTP) token that will be sent to your mobile phone or alternate email address.
You can only receive an OTP if you set up your contact information on the system.
|I want to…||Follow these instructions||Notes|
|Set up my contact information||
Enter your mobile number when updating your details. This allows the system to send you a password token should you ever forget your password.
If you choose not to supply a mobile number, then, when you need to reset your password, the password token will be sent to your alternate email address.
If you don’t provide any alternate contact information, you will not be able to use the “Forgot password” option and will need to contact the IT Helpdesk.
|Update my contact details||
If you change your mobile phone number or your alternate email address, update these details on the system as soon as possible.
It’s best to enter your mobile number when updating your details. If you choose not to, when you need to reset your password, the system will send the password token to your alternate email address.
|Change my password||
For added safety, it’s best to change your password at regular intervals – e.g. every six months.
Ensure that your contact details are correct in the system.
The password must comply with UCT regulations.
|Reset my forgotten password||
To use this option, you need access to your mobile phone or the alternate email account you listed when you last updated your contact details. If you don’t have access to either, seek assistance.
The new password must comply with UCT regulations.
Seek assistance using any of the following methods: