Information For

Frequently Asked Questions

How Will I Know It's Time to Change My Password?

You will receive three email warnings before your password expires. One of these warnings will come two weeks before the expiration period. The next warning will be one week before the expiration period, and the last warning being one day before your password expires.  The account will be disabled at 6 a.m. on the date shown on these warnings.

Why Should I Change My Password, and Where Do I Change It?

We have an obligation to protect information stored on our computer systems from unauthorized access. We require all Faculty and Staff members to change their password every 12 weeks (84 days). All passwords must be at least eight characters in length. It must contain at least one lower case, upper case letter and a number. You must avoid passwords that can be found in the system spelling dictionary. Change your password

What Will Happen If I Don't Change My Password Before It Expires?

If you still have not changed your password by the third warning, your account will be disabled -- you will not be able to log into your computer, your email, my.csusm.edu, and other systems or items you need to do your job. You will not lose any data if this happens, but you will be unable to log in again until you come to the Faculty/Staff Help Desk with a photo ID. They will not be able to tell you your former password, but they will be able to assign you a new temporary one.

To protect anyone other than yourself from accessing your grade rosters and e-mail, the Help Desk cannot reset your password by phone unless they know you personally.  Nor can they reset your password by email.  The Help Desk can work through your Support Staff Member to verify who you are (over the telephone if we know that person by voice), but the password will be given to your Support Staff Member to give to you.

Can I Share My Password?

No. Sharing passwords is a violation of the Computer Equipment Access Policy.  By sharing your password with anyone, you are giving that person access to your email, my.csusm.edu, and other confidential resources to which you have been granted access.

What Makes a Valid Password?

All passwords must have the following to be valid:

  • At least eight characters in length

  • At least one lower case letter
 At least one upper case letter

  • At least one number
 Cannot use words that can be found in a dictionary

There are a number of good schemes for creating valid passwords. You can use a word, but substitute numbers for some of the letters. (Example password:  Spiderman becomes Sp1d2rm3n)

Programs Affected by Password Change

  • Login and Network
  • All Email
  • my.csusm.edu
  • Cougar Courses
  • Certain Administrative Databases
  • CougarApps
  • Box