Changing your password annually

Information Systems has begun enforcing annual password changes after a hiatus while we migrated to Microsoft’s Active Directory. You will receive notice to change your password within the next few months.

The rest of this post contains further details about this.

For many years the Information Systems department has required users to change their password annually. During the transition to Microsoft Active Directory, completed in May 2012, we suspended this requirement to avoid problems for users and administrators. With that transition complete we are now re-instating the requirement. (More details on why annual password changes are important may be found below.)

You will receive notice to change your password sometime in the next few months. We’ve randomized the timing of these notices to avoid having everyone change their password at once. We will notify you through email and prompts in Moodle and myEMU.

Please do not ignore these messages! You will need to change your password within two weeks of first receiving notice.

After you have changed your password you will be invited to add security questions and contact information to your profile. These will allow you to reset your password in the future without contacting the information systems Helpdesk.

If you use an EMU laptop or you have linked your smartphone or tablet to institutional email and calendar systems (that is, you use NotifyLink) you should update them after you change your password. We have created a HelpZone article with further instructions.

Our annual password change requirement is a compromise between system security and ease of use. The most secure passwords would be long, complex and frequently changed; the easiest passwords to use would short, simple and seldom changed–or might not be used at all. We have tried to strike a balance: moderate requirements for passwords that are changed annually.

Please contact the Information Systems Helpdesk (, 540 432 4357) with your questions or comments. And remember that Information Systems will never ask for your password!