Los Rios Password Management FAQs

What is the new password policy?
All Los Rios employees logging into the Los Rios network (aka Active Directory) are required to create and use “strong” passwords or pass-phrases. This password must satisfy a specific length and complexity requirement and must be changed every several months. More information is provided below.
Why is this password policy being implemented now?
The privacy and security of Los Rios data, including the personal identity information of students and staff, is dependent on the security of our systems and personal computing practices. The use of strong passwords or pass-phrases is considered a cornerstone of any security program.
Due to the ongoing threat of inappropriate exposure of “High Risk” and/or confidential data, District executive staff directed that password management be implemented.
I log into multiple systems at Los Rios. Which systems will require the new password policy?
All Windows and Mac systems that authenticate on the Los Rios network participate in this password (pass-phrase) policy. Common systems include: Windows and some Mac desktops, Outlook, Outlook Web Access (OWA), Entourage, file server access and printer access.
I have a password on Peoplesoft, Blackboard and/or the Online Grading System (aka Roster System). Will any of these systems use my new password?
Not at this time. All of these systems currently maintain their own account directories with related passwords. If you want to keep your network logon password the same as your password on any of these applications you need to change that password within the application. Please be aware, there is an effort underway to have each of these applications authenticate using the Los Rios network accounts and passwords.
How long and complex must my password be? How frequently will I be required to change it?
Any password (or pass-phrase) must now be at least 10 characters or longer. It must contain at least one upper case AND one lower case alpha character. It may also contain spaces and special characters, but these are not required. Some pass-phrase examples are:

"join us on our trip to security"
"w8it until I tell your Father!"

Passwords (pass-phrases) need to be changed every 90 days. You will be prompted by the system to change your password approximately 14 days before it expires. If it is not changed during this 14-day period your account will become “locked” and unusable until your password is changed. You can change your password at any time, even if your account is “locked”.
Are there any other password restrictions I should be aware of?
Yes. No password can have fewer than 3 unique characters. For example, the password “abbbbbbbbbbb” would not be accepted since it has only 2 unique characters. Also, you can not repeat a password that you have previously used in the last eight changes.
How can I create and remember such a long password?
It is much easier to create and remember phrases (pass-phrases) rather than long words (passwords). It helps to keep the phrase simple and meaningful to aid memorization. It is important that the pass-phrase you create can be remembered, without resorting to written reminders, i.e. sticky notes, or other props that can be easily obtained by an intruder.
You may add complexity to your pass-phrase by including special characters but there is marginal value to this practice as the length of the pass-phrase equals or exceeds 10 characters in length; keep in mind, additional complexity can make your pass-phrase harder to remember.
What should I do if I forget my password or have difficulty changing it?
A new web form is available on the Los Rios website under the District Services link that provides a self-service, Staff Password Update function ( https://pwreset.losrios.edu/stfpwdreset.aspx) for all Los Rios employees. If questions or problems still exist, please call your campus IT Help Desk during the work week (Monday – Friday, 7:00 AM to 5:30 PM) to request a password change. Please be aware that with either method you will be required to provide information to verify your identify.

ARC-484-8259  CRC-691-7486  DO-568-3012  FLC–608-6561  SCC–558-2222
I use Outlook Web Access regularly. Can I change my password there? Is this password subjected to the same password management policy for length and complexity?
Yes, you can change your Los Rios network account password from within Outlook Web Access (OWA), and it is subjected to these new password management policies (since these passwords are one and the same). Please be aware that selecting the Change Password function within Outlook Web Access (Options – Change Password) will redirect you to the Los Rios Staff Password Update form. Also, if your password has expired you will be automatically redirected to the Staff Password Update form.
How will Mac clients know to change their password without the Pop up described above?
Those Mac users authenticating on the Los Rios network (CRC and some at SCC) will still receive a prompt that their password has expired and needs to be changed. However, they won’t get a ‘pop up’ describing the password requirements, e.g. 10 characters minimum length, and at least one upper case and one lower case alpha character. However the new password requirements will be communicated in a variety of fashions and on multiple occasions, e.g. e-mail notices, website information, FAQs (such as this), messages on the OWA front page, voice mail messages, etc. Unfortunately, due to technical differences between the Windows PC and Mac a uniform pop-up facility was not available.