Good Passwords and Password Requirements

It is BCOE's goal to maintain a secure computing environment, while minimizing the inconvenience to BCOE users.  The use of user names and passwords help reduce the likelihood of unauthorized use of computers and accounts.

It is very important that you choose a password that is difficult for another user to guess. As a security precaution, we often run a password guessing program to check for easily guessed passwords. If your password is "cracked", your account will be disabled until you can meet with us.

Some password choosing DOs and DON'Ts:

  • DON'T use words out of any dictionary
  • DON'T use names or personal references
  • DON'T write your password down. (Someone might find it)
  • DON'T recycle old passwords
  • Must not contain the user's account name, parts of the user's full name or any personal info.
  • Must be at least 16 characters. We strongly recommend a passphrase of 25 or more characters.
  • Must be changed a minimum of once a year, although we recommend more frequent changes.
  • Must contain characters from at least three of the following four categories:
    • English uppercase characters (A through Z)
    • English lowercase characters (a through z)
    • Base 10 digits (0 through 9)
    • Non-alphabetic characters (for example, !, $, #, %)
  • DO use something that you'll be able to remember

Of course, you want something that is not too difficult to remember.  A good trick for making secure passwords that are still easy to remember is to think of a sentence and then use the first letter of each word in that sentence. Throw in a punctuation character or a case-change, and your password will be virtually unbreakable. This is where acronyms can be very useful.  Something like Ih24D1B&13Cimh! (I have 24 Dogs 1 Bird and 13 Cats in my house!) is much more difficult to crack than johndoe, while still being easier to remember than $dfa3H%za4tb!2e.  Also, please change your passwords often.  Every three months or so is good.

BCOE Systems checks account passwords periodically.  If they are found to be insecure, your account will be temporarily disabled. To restore your account, contact BCOE systems and come with picture ID to the Systems Office.  We will then reactivate your account and you can choose a new password.

If you have questions, you can contact the College of Engineering Systems Group via e-mail at

Changing Your Password

  • Using a Unix server: SSH into You can then change your password by typing kpasswd at your UNIX prompt. It will ask you for your old password once, followed by your new password twice. Note: You will not see a visual indication that characters have been typed.

  • Using an ENGR Windows Machine: Log into a ENGR domain computer. Once logged in, press the CTRL, ALT, and DEL keys. Click on "Change Password" and follow the instructions.

Lost Password

Should you forget your password, please visit Reset Password Page or come by WCH 107 with photo ID to reset your password.

Locked Account

Your account may be disabled by us for the following Reasons:

  • Insecure Password
  • Incomplete mandatory training
  • Misuse of Account
  • You are no longer eligible for your account.

In any case, come by WCH 107 and talk to us in person if you want to resolve this.