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Email / Network Password FAQ

This document covers the current policies and procedures for managing the password that faculty and staff use to check email, log on to their computers, and connect to the Roosevelt network. Changing your email/network password also affects how you access RU Files and alternative methods of accessing your RU email, such as PDAs and smartphones. See below for details on synchronizing these applications with your email/network password.

What is the email/network password?

All Roosevelt faculty and staff have an email/network account (students are not included). This account performs several functions. First, it is used to authenticate your access to your RU email account no matter what software you use (Outlook, Outlook Web Access, Entourage, various other email clients, or PDAs.) It is also the username and password you use when you log into your computer at startup, a process which grants you access to both your machine and various services on the RU network. This password does not apply to Banner, RU Access, Blackboard, or student email (myMail) accounts.

Why has the University implemented this policy?

The main reason is that poorly protected email accounts expose both the users and the host institution to a variety of security risks. Weak and infrequently changed passwords can lead to identity theft, the loss of sensitive institutional data, violation of federal and state data protection requirements, virus infections, and the takeover of user accounts by spammers and criminal hackers without the user's knowledge. This risk is not merely theoretical: Roosevelt has been the victim of several hacking incidents recently that might have been prevented with stronger passwords. These new password policies have been implemented at the recommendation of university auditors, and bring the University policies into accord with industry standards for password protection.

What rules apply to this password?

All email/network passwords must match the following specifications:

  • The password must be at least 8 characters in length.

  • The password must contain at least one character from at least three of the following groups: upper-case letters, lower-case letters, numbers, special characters (! @ # $ % * ( ) ).

  • The password cannot contain more than 2 consecutive characters of the user name. For example, for the username johndoe, the password cannot contain joh, ohn, hnd, ndo, or doe.

  • The new password cannot be the same as either of the last 2 passwords used.

How often do I have to change my password?

You must change your password at least every 180 days. Once a password has been changed it cannot be changed again for 2 days. Users will receive reminders at 28, 7, and 1 days before the 180-day mark. If the password has not been changed by the required date the account will become inaccessible.

What should I do if my password has expired?

If your password expires you can change it yourself from any computer by visiting the Outlook Web Access page at For details follow the instructions below. If you need assistance in changing your password contact the help desk at 312-341-4357 and an agent will help you through the process.

Password changes: PC/Windows users, on-campus.

These instructions apply to users of Windows computers working from their offices at any of the three campus locations. This is the recommended method for all regular PC users.

Make sure your computer is connected to the campus network. Then press Ctrl-Alt-Delete, choose "Change a Password," enter your old password and a new password (twice) conforming to the above rules and then press the Arrow icon. This will immediately change your email and network password.

Password changes: PC/Windows users, off-campus.

If it is necessary to change your password while off campus you can complete the first part of the process remotely on any computer. This would apply, for example, to users working from their laptops while away from campus or using their personal computers at home.

  1. Visit Don't log in, but instead click the link "Change your email/network password" (it's in green text). When the popup box appears, read the instructions and then scroll down and enter your user name, your old password, and your new password (twice), and click OK. This password replaces the old one for purposes of accessing your email.

  2. If you use a university-owned computer in a campus office, when you return to campus you will need to enter your new password when restarting your computer to complete the synchronization process. (Users who do not use university PCs from a campus office can ignore this step).

Password changes: Mac users.

Because Macs connect to the campus network in a different way from PCs, resetting the email/network password is a three-step process. The process is the same whether you're working on or off campus.

  1. Change password on the server. Visit Don't log in, but instead click the link "Change your email/network password" (it's in green text). When the popup box appears, read the instructions and then scroll down and enter your user name, your old password, and your new password (twice), and click OK. This updates your email password. Note that if you restart your computer at this point you will still need to log in with your old password, not the new one.

  2. Change your email client password. To allow Entourage or Mac Mail to communicate with the Exchange server you must set the local email password to match the one on the server side. If you use Entourage, open the program and click Tools > Accounts. If you use Mac Mail, open that program and click Mail > Preferences. Either approach will take you to a screen where you can update your password. Make sure the password exactly matches the one selected in step one above. In Entourage, make sure the box "Save password in my Mac OS keychain" is checked before saving and exiting.

  3. Change the computer login password. Most Mac users find it convenient to log in to the computer using the same password used for email and network access. To change this password click the Apple icon in the upper left-hand corner and select System Preferences. On the System Preferences screen, click the Accounts icon (located in the System section). In the Accounts dialog box click Change Password... and enter your old password and then your new password twice (be sure to use exactly the same password selected in step one above). You will see the following message: "Your key chain password will be changed to your new account password." Close out of all screens. The next time you log onto your computer after a restart you will use your new password.

Accessing RU Files (Xythos) after an email/network password change.

Faculty and staff members use their email/network passwords to accessing their stored documents on the RU Files (Xythos) network file server. If the email/network password has changed, stored versions of the old password will no longer work and users will need to log in to RU Files using their new password. Several different scenarios are possible:

Mapped drive connections. If your connection to RU Files has been mapped as a drive on your desktop, the first time you access that drive after a password change you will be prompted to enter the new password. Enter your new password in the Password field, check the Save password box, and click OK.

Browser access . If you access RU Files using your web browser and have told the browser to save your password locally, the saved password will no longer work after an email/network password change. Your browser should respond by asking you to log in to RU Files. Enter your new password and, if desired, save that new password on your system.

Password reset issues for users of PDAs and smartphones.

If you access your Roosevelt email from a PDA or smartphone, any change to your email/network password will most likely require an additional update step on your handheld device. Failure to do this may make it impossible for you to synchronize your handheld device with the Exchange server. Consult the manufacturer's instructions for details.