WesternAccount Password Expiry FAQ

Infrequently asked questions?

This FAQ doesn't attempt to answer all questions WesternAccount holders will have in relation to password expiry. If your questions aren't answered here, please contact the IT Service Desk.

WesternAccount passwords expire

The password you use to access many IT systems and services expires at regular intervals. Initially, passwords will expire every 90 days, but this interval may change.

Why do WesternAccount passwords expire?

The University introduced password expiry as part of ongoing enhancements to data security.

The security of the University's network, IT systems and the data transmitted or stored within is very important, especially if the data contains personal or confidential information related to students or staff.

How do I change my password?

Your WesternAccount password can be changed at any time, from anywhere with web access. Self-managing renewal of your password is a good practice, and avoids the reminder process.

To change your password:

  • visit WesternAccount Password Management,
  • enter your student or staff number (any letters must be in upper case), and press continue. The Manage WesternAccount page will open.
  • follow the link to Change your WesternAccount Password, and follow the instructions.

In order to prevent any problems from the system "remembering" the old password, always logout from your computer after changing your password. Log in using your new password. If you are changing your password while off campus, logout from all WesternAccount linked systems before logging back in with your new password.

If you use a University laptop, we recommend physically connecting your laptop to the network (via network cable) when making password changes. Physical connection allows automatic synchronisation of your laptop and WesternAccount passwords.

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Can I re-use my old WesternAccount password?

No, the system prevents you from "changing" your password to your existing password. Additional rules ensure that your new password is substantially different from the old one.

What happens if I don't change my WesternAccount password?

You will continue to have access until your password expires. Once the expiry date is reached, your WesternAccount will be deactivated and you will be unable to login until your WesternAccount is reactivated and the password reset. This process may require IT Service Desk intervention. Your best option is to change your password before it expires.

How will I know when I have to change my WesternAccount password?

You will be emailed at the University email address linked to your WesternAccount, 30, 15 and 5 days prior to password expiry.

These are legitimate University emails which, unlike recent hoax emails, will redirect you to a page on the official University website. For additional protection, we recommend visiting the Password Management link from the Quicklinks on the main University website, rather than clicking any links in the email notification.

In addition, once your password reaches 14 days from expiry, you will receive daily pop-up reminders whenever you login to a Windows based University standard operating environment desktop or laptop.

I get too many pop-up reminders - can you reduce the frequency?

No. If you want to stop the reminders, change your password.

What if I don't have a University email account?

We are unable to send you the email notifications.

You can login to WesternAccount Password Management at any time to check your account status. The MyWesternAccount status link provides information including the number of days until your password expires. Go back to the Manage WesternAccount page to change your password, if required. This service is available to all WesternAccount holders.

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What if I use a Mac?

Mac users will receive the email notifications, but not the desktop notifications. Desktop notifications will only appear when you are using Windows on the Mac AND the Windows side is joined to the University domain. Mac users are able to login to WesternAccount Password Management at any time to check their account status.

What if I use a laptop?

You should change your password while your laptop is hardwired (connected by network cable) to the University network. Log off after making the change.

I'm using a private laptop to connect wirelessly via Western WiFi. Do I have to do anything?

You'll need to change your WesternAccount in order to access University systems, including Western WiFi, but you don't need to change your laptop password unless you want to.

I've changed my WesternAccount password, but now I can't access my systems

This may occur if you didn't logout of your computer after making the change. Occasionally there can be a delay of up to 15 minutes after activating your WesternAccount or changing your password before WesternAccount linked systems recognise your new password. Most systems will accept your new password after logging out and logging in with the new password.

You may also be using systems that are not linked to WesternAccount. In this case, continue to use your existing password for those systems until you change your password for each.

My colleague and I share passwords for some important tasks. What impact will this have?

Sharing of passwords, even for noble reasons, is not permitted, and places you in breach of the IT Acceptable use of Resources Policy. Your login ID and password are the keys to your online identity, and must never be disclosed to others. Once someone else knows your password, they can impersonate you online, and will have full access to all the systems you do. If they act maliciously or illegally online, their actions will be identified as your actions.

For the same reasons, you should never leave your logged in computer unattended. Always lock your computer when leaving it unattended. Tip: On Windows based PCs, press and hold the Windows key and press the L key to lock your computer.

If you or your colleague don't have sufficient access to do your jobs, approach your supervisor to arrange authorised access to the systems required.

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Will I have to change my WesternAccount password within 90 days from the last change, or simply before a set date?

Don't get too hung up on the number of days, 90 days is the initial period and could well change in the future. The expiry period is not tied to a fixed date – it commences when you change you password. You can change your password any time before it expires.

What are the password rules?

WesternAccount passwords must meet certain rules to be accepted. The rules ensure that your password is complex enough to improve security and to prevent others from guessing the password. These rules can be found on  WesternAccount Password Management. It's good practice to ensure all your passwords meet or exceed the rules provided.

What about tablets, smart phones and other devices?

Android, iPad and iPhone users will need to change their email password in the device. If the device is set to remember passwords for any University systems, these will need to be changed. If you use your device to access Western WiFi, our wireless network, you will need to update your connection to use the new password.

In order to continue to synchronise with the University, other devices will ask you to change your password if required. You may need to open your device's settings to make this change. Due to the range of devices available, we are unable to offer more detailed instructions.

What about access from home?

Once your WesternAccount password is changed, you'll need to use the new password for access to any WesternAccount linked system from home.

WesternAccount passwords can be changed from anywhere you have web access. Don't forget to logout from all WesternAccount linked systems before logging back in with your new password.

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I'm going on a lengthy sabbatical overseas, what should I do about password expiry?

You'll need to change your WesternAccount password prior to expiry to continue to access University systems, including email, but your University laptop will continue to use the old login password until after it is physically reconnected to the University network. This means one password for the computer, and another for University systems. As a work around, you can manually change your laptop password to match your WesternAccount password, using the ctrl-alt-del change password feature.

Whenever you access University systems, remember to check your WesternAccount password expiry status by visiting the Password Management link from the Quicklinks on the main University web site, and, if necessary, update your password. Don't forget to log out of all WesternAccount linked systems after changing your password, before using the new password to log back in.

Help! I have too many passwords. How am I going to remember new ones?

Try to choose a password you'll remember, and don't forget that you can always contact the IT Service Desk if you have problems. A popular memory trick is to think of a phrase or sentence you'll remember, and use one or more letters from each word. Mix up the case, include numbers and/or other characters, and you'll have a secure, easily remembered password.

Software and apps are available that can securely store your passwords and you only need to remember the one password to get into the software. We are unable to recommend or endorse any particular software or app.

Support and further information

If you require support or further information about WesternAccount password expiry or any assistance with your password or login, please contact the IT Service Desk. Our friendly Service Desk Operators will be more than happy to assist.

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