Password Management

Date: 5/5/2017

The Password Problem

University-wide, many faculty, staff and students are using passwords that are more than a year old. This is a major security risk for both you and the university.  In STAT department, the average Net-ID/Username password is over 3 years old (3.54 years, to be exact).  Twenty-seven percent of STAT users’ passwords are less than a year.  Forty-eight percent are between one to five years.  Twenty-five percent are older than five years which nine percent are older than ten years.

 The Password Solution

Changing your Iowa State University account passwords twice a year or at least once a year needs to become a habit. Threats to computer security continue to rise worldwide, and hacker technologies to uncover your password are rapidly evolving and becoming more sophisticated. That’s why password strength and management is more important than ever. To protect your account and the university from vulnerabilities, you should completely change — not simply tweak or alter— the passwords of your key university accounts to something you’ve never used before.

What To Do Right Now

Changing a password is a small individual act, but will dramatically improve Iowa State’s computer security measures. Your help is greatly appreciated.

 1. If you haven’t changed your passwords over the past one year or longer, do it today. See “how to” information below on Net-ID and AccessPLUS.

 2. On your calendars, schedule reminders to change your passwords six months from now, 12 months from now, etc. Do it today. Make it a habit.

 3. If you supervise staff or students, remind them periodically to change their passwords regularly. Start today.

4. If you have sponsored accounts, don’t forget to include them as well.

To change your Net-ID password:

From ASW website:

Step 1. Visit and log in with your current Net-ID and password.

Step 2. Select Change Password from the menu.

Step 3. Create a strong password.

From Windows computer (Join to AD and login with NetID account):

Step 1. Login your NetID account to your Windows computer

Step 2. Press “Ctrl”+”Alt”+Del” keys to bring up Windows Security screen and select “Change a password”.

From Mac computer (ISU owned computers, using “Apple Enterprise Connect”):

Step 1. An application software called “Apple Enterprise Connect” will be installed to all Mac computers in the department (Schedule date: May 8th, 2017).  This software will remind you if your password will be expired in 15 days and allow you to change the NetID  password.  It also provides synchronization between your local account and NetID password if logging with a local account.

Step 2. Enter your NetID and password to the “Enterprise Connect” window after logging to your Mac computer.

If you login with a local account on your Mac computer, the Enterprise Connect will ask you to change your local password to the NetID password.

After that your local account password will be automatically synchronized with your NetID password every time you change your NetID password from Enterprise Connect.

Step 3. If the Enterprise Connect icon (the key with a circle around it) is black, you’re connected to ISU network. If the icon is grey, you are not connected to ISU network.

Step 4. To change password, click the Enterprise Connect icon (make sure the icon color is black) and select “Change password”.  You will be prompted to enter your current NetID password and new password.

To change your AccessPlus password:

Step 1. Visit and log in with your current ID and password.

Step 2. From the left menu, select Password Admin.

Step 3. Follow the 5 bulleted instructions for creating a strong password and use the “Check Password Strength” link.

Password management software: “KeePass” (Windows) or “KeePassX” (Mac)

If you need to manage password list or create a new password, you can utilize the tool called “KeePass” or “KeePassX”.  Below is the installation instructions.

For Windows computer:

Step 1. Click Windows “Start” menu and type “Software Center”

Step2. Select “KeePass 2.3.6” from the Available Software list and click “INSTALL”

Step3. Click “KeePass 2” from your start menu to run the software

For Mac computer:

Step 1. Click “Self Service” from the Launchpad icon on your desktop

Step 2. Search “KeePassX” from Self Service

Step 3. Click “INSTALL” on KeePassX_2.0.3 to install software

Step 4. The “KeePassX” software will be shown in /Applications folder